Thanks to John Robert Stevens, Pastor and my mentor,
deceased; Pastors Gary and Marilyn Hargrave; The Living Word, a World
Wide fellowship of Churches (thelivingword.org); Logos Bible Study
System; fellow Christians.
By: Kenneth B. Alexander, JD, Minister
Scripture references: The New American Standard, 95 ed.
And the KJV (AV) unless otherwise noted
Bold Print Author's Discretion-Other Emphasis Author's Discretion
This author is not sure if this Book needs an
Introduction. I was going through some old files and I came up with some
stuff I hadn't published. So I threw it all together and made something
out of it. If nothing else it should be interesting as there are some
off the wall topics included, as well as some of my attempts at poetry
(not my line). But if you look at the Table of Contents you might find
For instance "Was America Founded As a
Christian Nation"? Or the history of Babylon or the history of the
Nephilim? How about "God and Science"? How about the paganism
attached to the Roman Church, who ruled Rome for 1000 years? There are
some more familiar topics, always involved with Walking with God In the
spirit. Also "Will There Ever Be World Peace" and the "Role of
Faith In Politics". I've even included a peace on "Christian
Astrology" and "Biblical Numerology". There is even some of
my attempts at Poetry.
So here's hoping you enjoy it and learn a thing or two.
Be Perfect As Your Heavenly Father Is Perfect
One statement by Christ during His
dissertation to the multitudes, which has come to be known as "The
Sermon on the Mount" stands out and is worth analyzing. It is:
"Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect"
(Matthew 5:48). Preceding this statement are scriptures which may be
read as leading up to or relating directly to this statement but a close
reading and understanding of the scriptures reveals that this statement
stands on its own as a proclamation of God's will for His Sons.
Therefore, and after a reading of the
following, there can be no doubt that it is God's will that His Sons be
perfect like He is. If it is God's will that we be perfect, like He is,
how do we come to that place of perfection? Is it by doing good works
meant to please God? Is it by trying to follow His will to the best of
our human ability? Is there any way we can meet the standards set out by
Christ in the Sermon on the Mount when even our thoughts can be a sin
against God, rendering us imperfect? Christ said: "You have heard
that it was said, 'YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY'; but I say to you that
everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed
adultery with her in his heart" (Matthew 5:27-28).
Although we are to attain this perfection,
there is little doubt that we can never accomplish this by our own
efforts. Is God requiring something of us that we can never hope to
accomplish, or is being just a little less than perfect all right with
Him since we have Christ's grace to cover whatever sins we may commit?
Scripture is clear that we are to be perfect. John said: "Beloved,
now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will
be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will
see Him just as He is" (1 John 3:2). Being like Christ means being
perfect like He is. Paul said: "For now we see through a glass,
darkly ; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I
know even as also I am known" (1 Corinthians 13:12). And: "Now we
know in part, and prophesy in part, but when that which is perfect is
come, that which is in part shall be done away" (I Corinthians
Hebrews points out that God is bringing many
Sons to glory, Sons perfect like Christ: "For it was fitting for Him,
for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing
many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through
sufferings" (Hebrews 2:10). Hebrews mentions sufferings as an agent
of perfection. Paul said: "The Spirit Himself testifies with our
spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs
of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so
that we may also be glorified with Him" (Romans 8:16-17).
Although you may consider this heresy, Christ
was not born perfect. He became perfect just as we are to become
perfect. Scripture says: "Although He was a Son, He learned obedience
from the things which He suffered. And having been MADE PERFECT, He
became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation,"
(Hebrews 5:8-9). Christ, born of woman and the Holy Spirit, had to be
made perfect so He could turn and make us, who are also Sons, perfect
like He became. If Christ was born perfect, how could He relate to us
who are in the same process of becoming perfect? He had to take the same
road to perfection as we do. Isaiah 53:2 references this growing up
Christ had to do just like us: "For He grew up before Him like a
tender shoot, And like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately
form or majesty That we should look upon Him, Nor appearance that we
should be attracted to Him".
When we begin to talk about perfection we must
at once talk about love. God is love. That is the sum total of His
nature. "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and
everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not
love does not know God, for God is love" (1 John 4:7-8). Love is the
perfect thing. In the verses immediately preceding Christ's admonition
that we be perfect, He references how we are to love in order to be
perfect: "You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR
NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.' "But I say to you, love your enemies and
pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father
who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the
good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. "For if you
love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax
collectors do the same? "If you greet only your brothers, what more are
you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?"
In 1 Corinthians 12 Paul explains the path we
follow to perfect love. He explains all of the gifts of the Holy Spirit
in detail including the gifts of wisdom, faith, knowledge, healing,
miracles, prophecy, distinguishing of spirits, tongues and
interpretation of tongues. These are all gifts that can be exercised by
the body of Christ as it grows into perfection. However being able to
exercise these great gifts is not love. He goes on to explain that the
gifts are only partial perfection and are not the perfect thing God
wants. "...but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away;
if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be
done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the
perfect comes, the partial will be done away. When I was a child, I used
to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I
became a man, I did away with childish things" (1 Corinthians
So what remains when the partial is taken
away? "If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not
have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have
the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I
have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am
nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I
surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me
nothing" (1 Corinthians13:1-4).
"But now faith, hope, love, abide these
three; but the greatest of these is love" (1 Corinthians 13:13).
"Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag
and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its
own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does
not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all
things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love
never fails" (1 Corinthians 13:4-8). Therefore through all the
stages we go through in our walk to perfection (gifts, faith and then
hope) we finally arrive at perfection-love. When we love as God loves we
are perfect. We become love, as God is love.
"Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of
God, God abides in him, and he in God. We have come to know and have
believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who
abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is
perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of
judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no
fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves
torment and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because
He first loved us" (1 John 4:15-19).
Now that we know where we are headed, that is
to "be perfect as the Heavenly Father is perfect" how do we get there
from here? A great obstacle in our attaining to this perfect love is a
spirit we struggle against what is called condemnation. Condemnation is
the sense of failure we feel when we think we can never measure up to
what God wants in our lives. Condemnation results from knowing about the
sin we can never ever get rid of-once for all and finally. Condemnation
is our feelings about ourselves that we are never really accepted; that
we are never really loved or appreciated by God or those around us. It
manifests as a continual deep sense of failure that we carry with us
that, whether we are consciously aware of it or not. It affects every
aspect of our lives and our ability to fully accept the love and joy God
is continually beaming at us. As men of the flesh we look at what God
requires of us, realize how far we fall short, and condemn ourselves for
not being able to attain it. Believe it or not condemnation is perhaps
the greatest obstacle we face as we strive for perfect love.
One example of the spirit of condemnation is:
"One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that
He [Jesus] had answered them well, asked Him, "What commandment is the
foremost of all?" Jesus answered, "The foremost is, 'HEAR, O ISRAEL! THE
LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD; AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL
YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL
YOUR STRENGTH.' "The second is this, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS
YOURSELF.' There is no other commandment greater than these" (Mark
12:28-31). The obvious dilemma is how can you love your brother if you
don't love yourself? Condemnation, which in modern terms may be called
insecurity, keeps us from fully loving ourselves and thus fully loving
God and our brother, which is perfection.
We have been saddled with this condemnation
from the beginning. From the moment Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden,
mankind was cursed or condemned by God. The Lord cursed man, woman, the
ground and the serpent with the same ferocity (Genesis 3:14-19). "A
curse is evil or misfortune that comes as if in response to imprecation
or as retribution; a cause of great harm or misfortune"
(Merriam-Webster 11th Ed.). As Paul said: "For the creation was
subjected [cursed] to futility, not willingly, but because of Him
who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free
from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the
children of God" (Romans 8:20-21).
But this curse was not inflicted without hope,
or permanently. God provided a manner by which the curse could be
removed. In Genesis 3 God said to the serpent: "Because you have done
this, Cursed are you more than all cattle, And more than every beast of
the field... And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between
your seed and her seed; He shall bruise [crush] you on the head, And you
shall bruise him on the heel" (Genesis 3:14-15). This meant that the
seed of the woman (Jesus Christ) would crush the head of the serpent
(Satan) although, in his battle for survival, Satan would bruise the
man-child's heel. Since the serpent (Satan, the dragon, the serpent of
old, who is the devil and Satan, Revelation 20:2) is the original and
continuing cause of all condemnation, Christ defeating him on the cross
(crushing his head) took care of the problem once and for all.
The definition of condemnation is the same as
you would expect in a court of law. The Hebrew word "rasha" means to be
wicked, act wickedly and as a result to be found guilty and to have
final judgment and punishment inflicted (New American Standard
Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionary). In the Garden, God turned His back
on humanity, cursing and condemning him at the same time. However in His
mercy He left man an open door (Christ) to be perfect.
The Apostle Paul struggled with condemnation
as he walked with God and tried to do the right thing. In Romans chapter
7 he recounts his battle: "For we know that the Law is spiritual, but
I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing, I do not
understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am
doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to
do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no
longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know
that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is
present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I
want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But
if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing
it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is
present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with
the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the
members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me
a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I
am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?" (Romans
What Paul is saying here is that even though
he knows the right thing to do he is unable to do it due to the
condemned man within him which won't allow it. He distinguishes between
the two natures at war within him but finds no way out of the situation
in himself. This is where many of us live. Although we may know the will
of God, that is that we be perfect in all our ways, we find we cannot
execute that perfection due our nature from which God separated Himself
so long ago. However, Paul comes to the only solution possible for the
self condemnation that dogs his life. We must walk completely in the new
nature provided by Christ and very much alive in the believer.
"Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our
Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law
of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin" (Romans
7:25). When Christ died on the cross and was resurrected he accomplished
two things with respect to sin. First of all He forgave sin, all the sin
which had been committed by man and the sin he may commit in the future.
The second thing He did was the most important: He removed all sin from
man so that man never really had to sin again since the act of removal
made him completely clean and unable to sin.
However Christ did one more thing on the cross
which is important to this process. By removing the sin and guilt from
mankind the only one left to carry the sin and guilt was Satan. Whereas
the condemnation had been upon mankind, when it was removed, Satan
retained the condemnation (guilty verdict and punishment). However what
the Father did with Christ in actually removing or transferring the sin
away from mankind was a miracle. Satan saw this miracle and realized
that he could take the condemnation now upon him and transfer it back to
mankind, if they were willing to accept it. Satan, even in his condemned
state, remained the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4), giving him
latitude to carry on spreading evil until his sentence was actually
executed. So to this day mankind has been released from the curse or
condemnation laid upon it by God in the Garden but Satan, the enemy,
continually tries to convince man to reaccept what is not applicable to
That is the dual nature that Paul was
describing in Romans 7. However he came to the conclusion that Christ's
gift of grace resulting from His act on the cross really did release man
from any condemnation. He saw the fulfillment of God's promise in the
Garden that the offspring of the woman (Christ) had crushed the
serpent's (Satan's) head on the cross. Therefore he came to the
conclusion that he expresses in Romans 8:1: "Therefore there is now
NO CONDEMNATION for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1). We
can no longer be condemned or blamed for sin because Christ took care of
the problem once and for all. This is significant because who are there
among us who does not blame him/her self for mistakes we make? Who does
not condemn themselves for saying or doing the wrong thing time after
time? In God's eyes all our sin is forgotten or made of no effect in our
Does that mean then that we are free to commit
sin now that we know it has been forgiven? Paul says a resounding NO:
"What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may
increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in
it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ
Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried
with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from
the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in
newness of life" (Romans 6:1-4). The newness of life Paul is
referring to is the perfection of God who knows no sin and walks only in
love. When we walk in that newness of life we have become perfect
(sinless) like the Father.
A perfect example of how this righteousness
comes about is found in Zechariah chapter 3:1-7. That scripture says:
"Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of
the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him". Here
Joshua, a high priest of the Lord, standing before the Lord. Joshua's
name in Hebrew is Yehotsadaq which means "the LORD is righteous,"
His name is cross referenced in Hebrew to Strong's number 3068 which
defines it as "the proper name of the God of Israel". The angel
of the Lord is Malek in Hebrew meaning a direct messenger from God the
Father (New American Standard Hebrew Dictionary). So here we have a
righteous man standing before the Lord.
There was one problem: "Now Joshua was
clothed with filthy garments and standing before the angel". Joshua
was a righteous man but he was clothed with filthy garments of sin. And
Satan was standing before him and the Lord accusing Joshua for appearing
before the Lord in such a condition. But the Lord (messenger) said to
Satan: "The LORD rebuke you, Satan! Indeed, the LORD who has chosen
Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?"
The Lord saw Joshua for what he was- a righteous man who had gone
through the fiery testings of the Lord. He saw that the filthy clothes
were not his but the result of Satanic input by the accuser.
Joshua was standing before the Lord clothed in
filthy garments [he was covered in sin] and Satan was standing with them
accusing him of appearing before the Lord in filthy garments. Satan is
known as the accuser, who accuses the righteous day and night. "Now
the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the
authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has
been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night"
(Revelation 12:10). The Lord did not accept what the accuser had to say
here and ordered the filthy garments to be removed. These were not his
filthy garments; they had been put upon him by Satan. The Lord simply
rebuked Satan, who no longer had the power to effectively accuse, and
clothed the man in festal robes and a clean turban.
It was as we have said. Satan, even after
being a defeated foe due to Christ's sacrifice, can still make the
righteous look bad by transferring his filthiness on us. We simply need
to have the filthiness removed, because it no longer belongs to us and
thus be perfect (righteous) as is the Father.
The bottom line is that Christ's sacrifice on
the cross not only forgave our sin but gave us the ability to be made
perfect like the Father by removing all our sin and sending it to whom
it belonged-Satan. He remains the evil one, the condemned one, and will
be for eternity. We must refuse his attempt to transfer his filthiness
and unrighteous evil onto us. After Christ we have literally been made
perfect, like the Father.
Catholicism and Mystery Babylon
The purpose of this article is not to
disparage anyone or their beliefs. It is meant to expose the pagan
history of Babylon which became the Roman Catholic Church after the fall
of the Roman Empire. In Revelation there is a call to God's people to
"come out of her my people" (Revelation 18:2, 4). This passage
describes the false Christian church and says: "I [John] heard
another voice from heaven, saying, "Come out of her, my people, so that
you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues; for her
sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her
iniquities. "And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, "Fallen,
fallen is Babylon the great!... She has become a dwelling place of
demons and a prison [haunt] of every unclean spirit, and a prison of
every unclean and hateful bird".
The information presented here is derived from
the partial bibliography at the end of this article.
A. Origin of Babylonian Religion
The beginnings of Babylon go back to shortly
after the flood when the great and renowned hunter Nimrod was born to
Cush, son of Noah. "He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; therefore
it is said, "Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before the LORD" (Genesis
10:8-10). The beginning of his kingdom was Babel [Babylon] and Erech and
Accad and Calneh, in the land of Shinar" [now Mesopotamia including
Iraq]. From that land he went forth into Assyria, and built Nineveh and
Rehoboth-Ir and Calah, and Resen between Nineveh and Calah; that is the
great city (Genesis 10:8-12). He became a man renowned in the earth as a
great leader, warrior, builder and religious priest. When he is called a
"great hunter" it is not that he was a hunter of game but a hunter of
souls for his religious kingdom of Babel (Babylon).
When Nimrod died, his wife Queen Semiramis
claimed he was now the Sun-god (later called Baal). She gave birth to an
illegitimate son Tammuz and claimed he was Nimrod incarnated. Tammuz
died 40 days after his birth (similar to the 40 days of Lent). The pagan
ritual (religion) grew so that Tammuz was thought to die and be
resurrected each year. Thus, he was mourned with weeping and lament for
40 days culminating in the Feast of Ishtar in the late spring. Later
these festivals were called "Lent (40 days) and Easter. Ezekiel records
this: "Then He brought me to the entrance of the gate of the LORD'S
house which was toward the north; and behold, women were sitting there
weeping for Tammuz. He said to me, "Do you see this, son of man? Yet you
will see still greater abominations than these." (Ezekiel 8:12-14).
Actually Easter means "Pasche or Passover" in
the Greek. The early church observed only Passover at that time of year,
not Easter. The many symbols we attribute to Easter are paganistic:
rabbits were a favorite plaything of Tammuz, eggs are symbols of
fertility and sexuality of which Queen Ishtar was Queen and
hot-cross-buns are represented in the Bible as "cakes" used in various
pagan rituals. "The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the
fire, and the women knead dough to make cakes for the queen of
heaven;[Ishtar] and they pour out drink offerings to other gods in order
to spite Me" (Jeremiah 7:18). The Easter sunrise service is no more
than a remnant of Sun-worship prevalent in the ancient pagan religions.
Much of the Babylonian worship was carried out
through secret symbols which led God to describe the religion in
Revelation as Mystery Babylon (Revelation 17:5). The golden calf was a
symbol for Tammuz. For Nimrod, we see fire, candles and ritual fires
lighted in his honor; he was also symbolized by: sun-symbols, fish,
trees, animals and pillars. As Paul said of such things: "For even
though they knew God, they did not honor [glorify] Him as God or give
thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish
heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and
exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of
corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling
creatures" (Romans 1:21-23).
This system of Babylonian religion spread
eventually to all other nations. "Babylon has been a golden cup in
the hand of the LORD, Intoxicating all the earth. The nations have drunk
of her wine; Therefore the nations are going mad (Jeremiah 51:7)
"For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion [wrath] of
her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of
immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by
the wealth [power] of her sensuality" (Revelation 18:3). It has
obviously prevailed until this day, as God's judgment of Babylon is
reserved for the end-times reflected in the Book of Revelation.
Herodotus, an early historian, noted the mystery religion was the mother
of all systems of idolatry in the world. Bunson said that the religious
system was derived from "the primitive empire in Babel". And Laynard, in
his work Ninevah and Its Remains states "we have the united
testimony of sacred and profane history that idolatry originated in the
area of Babylonia-the most ancient of religious systems" (Vol. 2, pp
B. Mother and Child Worship
Ancient pagan religions are rife with beliefs
in the Divine Mother, female goddess, the divine feminine and Mother and
Child worship. As we will see, these ancient rites stemming from Babylon
became an integral part of the worship in the Roman Catholic Church. It
was also the subject of Brown's recent book The VaVinci Code.
Examples of mother-child worship are prevalent
in most world religions well before the birth of Christ. In China the
mother goddess called Shingmoo was pictured with a child in her arms.
The Scandinavians called theirs Disa who was also pictured with a child.
The Estruscans had Nutria and among the Druids the Virgo-Paritura was
worshiped as the Mother goddess. In India she was called Indrani, shown
with a child in her arms. The Babylonian mother was Aphodite, Ceres to
the Greeks and Nana to the Sumerians. In early Rome, she was Venus or
Fortuna and her child was called Jupiter. Other mother-child depictions
(idols) were Devaki-Crishna (India) and Isi-IshawaCybele-Deoius (Asia).
In Egypt, the mother was Isis and the child Horus. Depictions of the
pair are among the most prevalent idols in Egypt, featuring mother and
child on a throne.
In Greek Ephesus, the Great Mother was known
as Diana or Artemus. A statute of her was known as one of the seven
wonders of the ancient world. Paul and his companions were run out of
the city when he opposed pagan mother worship:
"You see and hear that not only in Ephesus,
but in almost all of Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away a
considerable number of people, saying that gods made with hands are no
gods at all. "Not only is there danger that this trade of ours fall into
disrepute, but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana
[Artemis] be regarded as worthless and that she whom all of Asia and
the world [the inhabitated earth] worship will even be dethroned
from her magnificence." When they heard this and were filled with rage,
they began crying out, saying, "Great is Diana [Artemis] of the
Ephesians!" The city was filled with the confusion, and they rushed with
one accord into the theater, dragging along Gaius and Aristarchus,
Paul's traveling companions from Macedonia" (Acts 19:26-29).
Thus mother-child worship was prevalent over
the entire world, and had been for centuries when Christ was born to
Mary. There was no reference to the worship of or the recognition of her
as a divine image either by Christ or by the early church. There is no
reference to her as divine in the scriptures. As a matter of fact, Jesus
himself didn't recognize her as his Mother after the Spirit: "Then
His mother and His brothers arrived, and standing outside they sent word
to Him and called Him. A crowd was sitting around Him, and they said to
Him, "Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are outside looking for
You." Answering them, He said, "Who are My mother and My brothers?"
Looking about at those who were sitting around Him, He said, "Behold My
mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is My
brother and sister and mother." (Mark 3:30-33).
Nevertheless, the worship of Mary, pictured
with the child Jesus, found its way into Christianity. As we know, the
early New Testament churches began to fall away from the truth and
evolved into the Roman (western) and Eastern Catholic churches (Catholic
means Universal). Many pagans desired to know Christ but they carried
with them many pagan ideas. The mother-child image was so engrained in
the world at that time that it was impossible for them to give it up. So
rather than lose these potential church members, the Universal church
instituted their own form of Mother-child worship-that of Mary and
Jesus. This Roman Catholic Church was formed in Rome, a center for such
worship, so it was easily introduced. Christians of that time faced
vigorous persecution partly for their failure to follow Roman religion.
Finally, in approximately 430 B.C.E. Emperor
Constantine designated Christianity as the official religion of Rome. At
that time Saint Mary worship was made an official doctrine of the
Catholic Church. Since at that time there were no other viable Christian
religions, anyone who desired to worship Christ had to come by way of
the Catholic church, devote themselves to Mary worship and adopt the
"mystery" symbols such as the cross, the holy water, immaculate
conception, Papal divinity and continual virginity of Mary, all of which
are pagan and unscriptural. This was the mixture of Christianity and
government (Roman) that God condemns in the Bible. "And the kings of
the earth, who committed acts of immorality and lived sensuously with
her, will weep and lament over her when they see the smoke of her
burning,... (Revelation 18:9). For another thousand years Catholicism
would align itself with world governments, receiving power from them and
likewise giving them religious validity. Both grew exceedingly rich
living off each.
God condemns them thus:
"[Kings of the earth] standing at a distance
because of the fear of her torment, saying, 'Woe, woe, the great city,
Babylon, the strong city! For in one hour your judgment has come.' "And
the merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, because no one buys
their cargoes any more– cargoes of gold and silver and precious stones
and pearls and fine linen and purple and silk and scarlet, and every
kind of citron wood and every article of ivory and every article made
from very costly wood and bronze and iron and marble, and cinnamon and
spice and incense and perfume and frankincense and wine and olive oil
and fine flour and wheat and cattle and sheep, and cargoes of horses and
chariots and slaves [literally bodies] and human lives [souls
of people]. "The fruit of your soul's desire you long for has gone
from you, and all things that were luxurious and splendid have passed
away from you and men will no longer find them. "The merchants of these
things, who became rich from her, will stand at a distance because of
the fear of her torment, weeping and mourning, saying, 'aWoe, woe, the
great city, she who was clothed in fine linen and purple and scarlet,
and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls; for in one hour
such great wealth has been laid waste!' And every shipmaster and every
passenger and sailor, and as many as make their living by the sea, stood
at a distance," (Revelation 18:10-17). Who were the greatest of
merchants than the nations who made themselves rich by the blood of the
saints and the atrocities committed in the name of religion by the
At the beginning of Chapter 17, God identified
the church as follows: "And he carried me [John] away in the Spirit
into a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of
blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns. The woman was
clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones
and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of
the unclean things of her immorality, and on her forehead a name was
written, a mystery, "BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE
ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH" (Rev. 17:3-5).
"Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven
heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits, [commonly
interpreted as Rome] and they are seven kings; five have fallen, one
is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a
little while. "The beast which was and is not, is himself also an eighth
and is one of the seven, and he goes to destruction. "The ten horns
which you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but
they receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour. "These have
one purpose, and they give their power and authority to the beast"
The woman, Babylon the Great, Mother of
harlots and abominations is seated on the beast who represents Kings and
Kingdoms of the earth. In actuality this woman is Satan. Satan is first
and foremost a religious spirit, propagating false religion. Paul
identifies this: "For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers,
disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even SATAN
DISGUISES HIMSELF AS AN ANGEL OF LIGHT. Therefore it is not surprising
if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness,
whose end will be according to their deeds" (2 Corinthians
11:11-13). Satan's angelic name is Lucifer which means "light bearer" or
"star of the morning". It was obviously his plan from the beginning to
try to foil God's plan by deceiving nearly all the world to follow after
a false, unscriptural, paganistic, mystery religion.
What started out as Babylon spread over the
entire world and ended up appearing in many forms throughout the earth
(India, Egypt etc). It also ended up as the Universal church, which was
worldwide. This universal (Catholic) church used many of the same
rituals, symbols and doctrines that used in the mother of all religions,
Babylon. Mother and child worship, in any form, is just a continuation
of those rites.
There is very much more we can say on this
subject. This article doesn't speak for any religion or organization. It
is just an explanation of what is really the truth.
McClintock and Strong Bible Handbook pp. 947-48
Halley Bible Handbook, p.696
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, James Orr, Ed. "Babylon in the New Testament"
Ancient Pagan Symbols, Elizabeth Goldsmith
Ancient Cities and Temples-Babylon, Albert Champdor
Harper's Bible Dictionary
Dictionary of Symbols, J.E. Cirot
The Paganism in Our Christianity, Arthur Weigall
Rise and Fall of the Roman Catholic Church, F. Paul Peterson
Satan's Great Deception, C. Paul Meridith
This is the Catholic Church, Joseph E. Ritter
The Wine of Roman Babylon, Mary E. Walsh
Encyclopedia of Religions, J.C. Forlong
Babylon Mystery Religion, Ralph Woodrow
An Appeal to the Christian World, Alexander
Rome the True Church?, S.E. Anderson
Does Our Faith Need Too Much Reassurance?
Our faith in the Lord seems to have need of
reassurance from time to time. God will speak something to us and we
believe it at the time but when that circumstances or conditions arise
we often react with unbelief. Then we must go back to the Lord, or to
our brother, to be reassured again in our faith. This process may repeat
itself a multitude of times and we still walk away without the abiding
faith that God really wants.
Reassure means variously to: "assure anew
or reassure, to relieve of anxieties, to restore to confidence or to
encourage". Synonyms may include "encourage, guarantee, convince,
bolster, comfort, console or inspire" (Merriam-Webster's Dictionary,
11th Ed.). Reassurance implies that we are seeking something we have
lost and we have to be reminded again of its existence.
Abiding faith is: "enduring, abiding;
pertaining to, continuing to exist and so remain in a (sure) state".
It can also mean a resumption of a prior state. (Swanson, James:
Dictionary of Biblical Languages : Aramaic (Old Testament). In Greek the
word is μένω (menō): "to stay, remain,
abide; to wait for, remain in a place or state, and expect something in
future; continue to exist, remain in existence; keep on, continue in an
activity or state, as an aspect of continuing action or permanence of
position" (Swanson, James: Dictionary of Biblical Languages With
Semantic Domains : Greek (New Testament) With Semantic Domains).
Why is there such a wavering in our faith that
we have to be reminded of God's word over and over again? Jesus was not
unconvinced of His Father's love for Him. Jesus didn't waver in faith.
His heart was fixed on the Father. He was, however, aware of the
instability and unbelief of man who wavered at every turn of the wind.
He commanded: "For this reason I say to
you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what
you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not
life more than food, and the body more than clothing? "Look at the birds
of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and
yet you're heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than
they? "And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his
life? "And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of
the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that
not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.
"But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and
tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you?
You of little faith! "Do not worry then, saying, 'What will we eat?' or
'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear for clothing?' "For the
Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows
that you need all these things. "But [continually] seek first His
kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to
you. "So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.
Each day has enough trouble of its own" (Matthew 6:25-34).
The Lord is not suggesting that we have faith
and not worry about the material things of this life; He is COMMANDING
IT! God wants our time to be His and not moved by trivial, worldly and
temporal distractions. He said we could gain the whole world and forfeit
our soul by amassing possessions and forgetting to have faith in God. He
wants us to be perfect like the heavenly Father is perfect (Matthew
Yes our faith seems to be constantly
challenged. Perhaps challenged isn't the right word. God is constantly
expanding our faith. "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you
encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith
produces endurance [steadfastness]. And let endurance
[steadfastness] have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect
and complete, [mature] lacking in nothing" (James 1:2-4).
Steadfastness means: "consistent,
immovable, constant, firm, persevering, sure, true, unflinching,
stable, unfaltering and never failing," to name a few
(Merriam-Webster's Thesaurus) We need to be mature as Paul described:
"...until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of
the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which
belongs to the fullness of Christ. As a result, we are no longer to be
children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind
of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful
scheming;" (Ephesians 4:13-14).
Jesus Himself said: "Therefore everyone who
hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise
man who built his house on the rock [a solid steadfast foundation]
"And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed
against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on
the rock. "Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on
them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. "The
rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against
that house; and it fell–and great was its fall" (Matthew 7:24-27).
Why do we continually have to be reassured by
God or others to have faith? Why is it that God can speak a Word to our
hearts and we can go away with unbelief as to whether that Word is
really true? God wants us to believe steadfastly so when rains or storms
arise we don't run and hide like children but we stand mature in His
Paul said: "Therefore if you have been
raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is,
seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not
on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is
hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed,
then you also will be revealed with Him in glory" (Colossians
3:1-4). And in the same Book: "He has now reconciled you in His
fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and
blameless and beyond reproach–if indeed you continue in the faith firmly
established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the
gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under
heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister" (Colossians
We always seem to want to move off what we
have heard. In Paul's day he battled ministers who would come into the
church (or in our case into our thoughts) with various religious
doctrines contrary to the true gospel. Many presented religious rituals
such as circumcision, diets etc. which, they said, had to be performed
if you were to be made perfect. Paul said: "If you have died with
Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were
living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, "Do not
handle, do not taste, do not touch!" (Which all refer to things destined
to perish with use?)–in accordance with the commandments and teachings
of men? These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of
wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of
the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence"
Paul is forced here to reassure the Colossians
of their freedom in Christ; free from legalism and rituals. Entry to His
Kingdom is by faith, not by works so that man could boast and say "I did
it". Christ has already done it for you yet many believers still think
they have to do works to earn salvation. If you are in His rest (Hebrews
4:1-16) then you need to no other works in order to gain favor with God.
Christ's is a spiritual kingdom. It is not of
this earth. : "Jesus answered [to Pilate], "My kingdom is not
of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would
be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it
is, My kingdom is not of this realm" (John 18:36).
Do we need our faith reassured? Christ called
the disciples "oh ye of little faith". Christ has commanded no
boundaries on our faith. The disciples asked Christ why they couldn't
cast out a demon from a man. Jesus responded: "Because of the
littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the
size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here
to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you"
(Matthew 17:20). We can have unlimited faith even if it seems to be a
small amount in our estimation.
The point of this article is that we carry
this unbelief with us, in our lives. This is a hindrance to our walks
with God. Unbelief in Christ is the most deadly of sins. When we say
unbelief we are not speaking of not believing that we are saved and are
going to heaven. The faith we are speaking about is the active miracle
faith that can only come from God. Paul was absolutely convinced of the
validity of his faith. "For I am convinced that neither death, nor
life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to
come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing,
will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ
Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38-39). Likewise we do not need to have
our faith constantly reassured. We are convinced of our faith which
leaves no room for unbelief.
Hope - The Second Golden Grace
1 Corinthians 13:13 says: "But now faith,
hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love".
As believers we seem to be more familiar with faith and love but do not
realize the power that hope can have in our lives. Actually these so
called "Three Golden Graces" are levels we attain as we walk with God.
We first come into a level of faith, then hope and finally the perfect
level of love, the love of the Father completely manifest in our lives.
Hope in Greek is
ἐλπίς [elpis /el·pece/]. From a primary root elpo (to anticipate,
usually with pleasure) there are 54 occurrences. The AV (KJV) translates
the word as "hope" 53 times, and "faith" once. Hope is an expectation, a
joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation, the thing hoped
for. Hope is closely related to trust [ἐλπίζω [elpizo /el·pid·zo/] and
is translated trust 32 occurrences. It means to "wait for salvation
with joy and full confidence".
In Hebrew the word is
[tiqvah /tik·vaw/] translated as "hope" 23 times, "expectation" seven
times, "the thing that I long for" once, and "expected" once; also hope,
expectation, ground of hope, things hoped for and outcome or
Hope is a virtue wrought in us by God that
very few people speak about, nor do they sense the importance of. Yet
great things can happen in your life through the hope that God generates
within you. An example of hope is found in Romans Chapter 8: "And not
only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit,
even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly [hope] for our
adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. For in hope we have been
saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he
already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance
we wait eagerly for it" (v. 8:23-25).
Boiled down to its essentials hope is
expectation. It differs from faith in the following respects. Faith in
the Greek language is: πίστις [pistis
/pis·tis defined as a conviction of the truth of anything or belief; the
belief in a conviction or belief respecting man's relationship to God
and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy
fervor born of faith and joined with it. The conviction that God exists
and is the creator and ruler of all things, the provider and bestower of
eternal salvation through Christ. A strong and welcome conviction or
belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through whom we obtain eternal
salvation in the kingdom of God. Belief with the predominate idea of
trust (or confidence) whether in God or in Christ, springing from faith
in the same and fidelity and faithfulness, the character of one who can
be relied on.
Contrasting hope and faith, the Bible says:
"Now faith is the assurance [substance] of things hoped
[expected] for, the conviction [evidence] of things not seen.
For by it the men of old gained approval. By faith we understand that
the worlds [ages, epochs] were prepared by the word of God, so that what
is seen was not made out of things which are visible" (Hebrews
11:1-3). Faith is the first step in a walk with God. By faith, and our
confession, we receive Jesus into our lives even though we cannot see
Him. But Hebrews 11 goes on to point out the limitations of faith as it
relates to the big picture. Hebrews 11:4-37 speaks of all the great men
of faith and all the things they did and accomplished. However in
Hebrews 11:39-40 the writer says: "And all these, having gained
approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because
God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they
would not be made perfect". Although these great men of faith saw
the promise at a distance, and embraced it by faith, they did not
receive the promise that was reserved for us who walk under the New
Covenant of Christ. So you could say their faith did not in and of
itself produce fulfillment.
Hope goes one step further in that it not only
has faith but it has an expectation that we will see it, in the here and
now. The Dictionary definition of hope includes: "to cherish a desire
with anticipation, to desire with expectation of obtainment, to expect
with confidence, desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in
fulfillment also expectation of fulfillment or success"
(Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, 11th Ed.). Hope is an unadulterated cry
for the fulfillment of a thing that has been seen, sometimes afar off,
by our faith.
Isaiah describes hope: "Indeed, while
following the way of Your judgments, O LORD, We have waited for You
eagerly; Your name, even Your memory, is the desire of our souls. At
night my soul longs for You, Indeed, my spirit within me seeks You
diligently;" (Isaiah 26:8-9). Hope is an eager anticipation; an
David cried: "As the deer pants [longs
for] for the water brooks, So my soul pants [longs for] You, O
God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; When shall I come and
appear before God?" (Psalm 42:1-2). Here David expresses more than a
belief (faith) in God but expects to appear before the face of God, and
waits eagerly for it.
This hope we have serves as an anchor, pitched
within the veil (meaning into the very presence of God). We have
anchored in God! Now the storms can be very rough here below; there can
be many instances where we feel that our life is nothing more than just
continual turmoil and conflict, yet if we have this hope anchored in
God, we will find in every respect there will be a joy and a rejoicing
and an anticipation of the better things that are to come.
But God sets before us the rejoicing of hope,
a hope of many things that are to come. This hope causes our hearts to
thrill as time goes on. Our hope is like an anchor, both sure and
steadfast, anchored within the veil, into the presence of our God. It is
a real and living hope.
Let's look at the amazing sources, or the
springs of hope, in our heart: ... we glory in tribulation also, knowing
that tribulation works patience; and patience experience; and
experience, hope" (Romans 5:3, 4 KJV). A man who has real hope in his
life is a man who has come up against life often enough to know that the
great catastrophes and problems that would swamp him do not occur as
consistently and effectively as one sometimes thinks. A man who gives up
without hope is a man who does not realize that many a time there can be
a dozen reverses consecutively in his life and that suddenly there will
spring forth a pattern of success and blessing. The Christian knows the
same thing. We glory in the tribulation we go through, knowing that the
tribulation will work endurance in us, the endurance will work an
experience, and that experience gives birth to a real living hope in our
In Ephesians 1:10–20 we read that this hope
comes from being called by God–"The eyes of your understanding being
enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling". Down
in the heart, God places a hope of His calling, something that seems to
live and move within our hearts. We know that God has called us. We know
that He intends to meet our lives and to bless us richly. So, that
living hope is there within us–the hope of His calling.
This hope comes by the grace of God. II
Thessalonians 2:16 says, "Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God,
even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting
consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and
establish you in every good word and work". There may be momentary
periods of despair, but God is always faithful, who will again bring
forth such a living, vital hope within the lives of his people. That's
God's way of working in our lives.
There are things that happen to your life by
hope. Romans 12:12 says, "Rejoicing in hope" and Romans 8:24 says
we are saved by hope. So we can see that there is a rejoicing and there
is a salvation that lingers in our life through the hope of God. Hebrews
3:6 reads, "We hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope
firm unto the end". Hope keeps us steadfast. Much of the stability
that comes to a person's life is not coming because the circumstances
round about them are so encouraging, but because they're hopeful,
therefore they are steadfast in the Lord.
The New Covenant of Christ brought forth hope
of a better salvation. Before Christ man was caught in futility with no
real hope of a permanent salvation. "In the same way God, desiring
even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of
His purpose, interposed [guaranteed] with an oath, so that by two
unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who
have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the
hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope
both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where
Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest
forever according to the order of Melchizedek" (Hebrews 6:17-20).
"And we desire that each one of you show the
same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the
end, so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who
through faith and patience inherit the promises" (Hebrews 6:11-12).
Religion and Clergy Malpractice
Churches or its ministers be sued for
malpractice in the courts such as doctors and other professionals? Some
say that subjecting churches to liability for malfeasance is a violation
of the first amendment and produces a "chilling effect" on religion as a
First of all, some see organized religion as a
threat to society (one can draw a large polarity between religion and
true spirituality). The current state of religion is about the dollar,
membership numbers and visibility (via television for instance). Also
popular is the compromise of spiritual principles in the name of making
the religion more palatable to the masses. Religion is used to obtain
political and/or moral goals and is a vast opiate for society in that
society is lulled into a false sense of security, claiming possession of
some tenet or another that they really don't have. Religion is one big
advertisement for its particular brand of spiritually (or lack of it).
Denominations number into the multi thousands (or more) each advocating
their own particular interpretation of Christ or whatever god or gods
they are worshipping. Polytheistic religions aside, if there is only one
God how can he have such a confusing and varied set of doctrines?
Verdicts against some large religions are
valid. Verdicts against non-mainline religions such as Scientology,
polygamy, Mormonism and counseling by ministers without even basic
training in how to direct people seems justified. The ministers, who
admit the truth that they are unqualified to be a marriage counselor,
and refer their congregants to professionals, are to be commended. They
know that subject is minimally covered in seminary school and they are
willing to stick with what they know which is (purportedly) religion and
spiritually. Those who bull ahead, and act out of their field, deserve
to be regulated by the rest of society. It is age old law that one be
responsible for his/her actions that do harm to others. Those who come
to the church for suicide counseling and are told just to believe God
are being done a dangerous disservice.
Not that psychiatry has all the answers. But
there are myriad support groups where the individual takes charge of
his/her own destiny with the support of others similarly situated. Would
the church, or would Alcoholics Anonymous, be better able and qualified
to treat alcoholism?
What about drug dependence, molestation,
mental disorders, violent temper, personality disorders or depression.
Who would be more qualified: A group of peers who had been there or a
trained mental health professional; or a minister who likely has no
education, training or experience (personal or otherwise) in treating
these illnesses? Would you want your preacher proscribing a cure for
cancer? Yet some have done this, shunning medical care for a spiritual
prescription, and have (or should have) had their hands slapped hard by
our legal tort system i.e. a reasonable person would find this an
abhorrent practice. Religion regulated by a government system is unwise
and illegal in our society. There, however, can and should be legal
regulation by a group of 12 ordinary persons in a jury box who don't
decide policy per se but decide what is preventable negligence in each
separate case that comes before them.
When a standard of reasonable conduct is used
to measure religion, the result is good if the religion is sometimes
brought up short. Do we not sue the Doctor who cut off the wrong arm, or
left a sponge in a patient's stomach? Should we not likewise sue the
church or religious practitioner for doing psychological damage by
applying religion as a cure-all? The constitution gives us a right to
practice religion but not apply it in an extreme that goes beyond
religion and into conduct that any reasonable man can see as harmful. As
an example we have the right of free speech but that right does not
extend into areas like yelling fire in a theater.
Our function of a separated government
including courts, as set forth in our constitution, seems to do quite
well in most cases. We may not find, in all cases, the one right answer,
but together we find a reasonable answer. I can think of no standard
that could work as well. Since we have the institution of religion we as
a society should have the right to reasonably regulate it through the
courts without violating the first amendment freedom it enjoys.
Christian Astrology - The Heavens Declare the Glory of God
The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament [expanse of heaven]
literally shows His handiwork.
Day unto day utters speech,
And night unto night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech nor language
Where their voice is not heard.
Their line [sound] has gone out through
all the earth,
And their words to the end of the world."
(King David Psalm 19:1-4)
Today's astrology is a perverted
interpretation of the true astrology. It is in line with the type of
astrology, witchcraft, soothsaying, fortune telling etc. that God
condemned. As God said to the Israelites as they were to enter the
promised land: "When you enter the land which the LORD your God gives
you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable things of those
nations [the nations the Israelites disposed]. "There shall not be found
among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the
fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who
interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium,
or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. "For whoever does these
things is detestable to the LORD; and because of these detestable things
the LORD your God will drive them out before you..."For those nations,
which you shall dispossess, listen to those who practice witchcraft and
to diviners, but as for you, the LORD your God has not allowed you to do
so. "The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from
among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him" (Dt
18:9-15). Prohibitions against such practices are noted on at least 50
occasions in the Bible.
Also: "Let now the astrologers, Those who
prophesy by the stars, Those who predict by the new moons, Stand up and
save you from what will come upon you. "Behold, they have become like
stubble, Fire burns them;" (Isaiah 47:13-14). The Chaldeans and many
of the Canaanite nations were astrologers. "The king called aloud to
bring in the conjurers, the Chaldeans [master astrologers] and
the diviners" (Daniel 5:7). The reason God prohibited the use of
divination and astrology was that Israel was to rely on the prophets He
raised up to speak the true Word of God, not those who used other means
to predict the future.
True astrology does not predict anything but
paints a picture of the revelation of Christ in the sky, using the
stars. It is not known how or how often this method was used but there
was a time when there was no writing, and stories were passed down word
of mouth possibly using the astrology explained here. The stars and
constellations are mentioned many times in the Bible especially, in the
Book of Job. For instance: [Job speaking of God] "Who commands the
sun not to shine, And sets a seal upon the stars; Who alone stretches
out the heavens And tramples down the waves of the sea; Who makes the
Bear, Orion and the Pleiades, [constellations] And the chambers
of the south;" (Job 9:7-9).
Christian astrology, and for that matter
astrology before Christ, is ancient. Reading the stars and their
interpretation was common to ancient civilizations before there was any
writing. Before the Bible, man read the stars and constellations as
revealing God's plan or as duplicating in their own religion. The
astrology presented here portrays details of the revealing of the
Messiah, Jesus Christ. Pagan and present astrology only interprets or
predicts events that take place on earth and in men's lives, many of the
events unrelated to God at all. We will proceed to explain briefly this
ancient method of the revelation of the will of God, which can rightly
be called Christian Astrology.
The Zodiac is a 360 degree circle, divided
into 12 sections. Each section denotes the passing of the earth through
one or more constellations as it completes its orbit around the Sun. The
denotation of the earth passing through a constellations is called a
sign. Each constellation is a grouping of stars that seem to form a
shape such as an animal or thing. Also each 30 degree "piece of the pie"
is divided into three 10 degree sections called decants. The decants are
also constellations, further descriptive of the main sign. Both signs
and decants are indicative of an aspect of Christ. When taken all
together, they form a complete revelation of our Savior.
The constellations are given names reflecting
what they purportedly depict such as Virgo the virgin, Libra the scales
of justice, Scorpio the serpent and so on. The revelation we present
here begins in the sign of Virgo and ends with Leo. The 12 signs, each
with three decants, are: Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn,
Aquarius, Pisces, Aires, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer and Leo. The entire
Zodiac, its signs, are briefly described below.
Promised Seed of the Woman (Mary) is VIRGO
(The Virgin), depicts a woman bearing a branch in her right hand and an
ear of corn in her left. This is the beginning of Christ's ministry in
the earth, His birth by the virgin woman.
The Redeemer's Atoning Work is depicted by
LIBRA (The Scales). The price deficient balanced by the price which
covers. The coming seed of the woman was, among other things, to give up
His life for others. "They sang a new song, saying, Thou art
worthy...for Thou was slain, and hast redeemed...to God by thy blood"
The Redeemer's Conflict is represented by
SCORPIO (The Scorpion). The aspect of Christ as seeking to wound the
serpent (Genesis 3:15), but itself trodden under foot. "Thou shalt
tread upon the lion and adder. The young lion and the dragon shalt thou
trample under feet." (Psalm 91:13).
The Redeemer's Triumph is represented by
SAGITTARIUS (The Archer). He is the two-natured (man and horse)
conqueror going forth "Conquering and to conquer." "God shall shoot
at them with an arrow; Suddenly shall they be wounded. So they shall
make their own tongue to fall upon themselves; All that see them shall
flee away" (Psalm 64:7-10).
Their Blessings Procured is represented by
CAPRICORNUS (The fish-goat). Represents the goat of Atonement (Azazel
goat) slain for the Redeemed see Leviticus 16). This sign opens with the
Goat, and closes with the Ram, two animals of Jewish sacrifice; the two
middle chapters are both connected with fishes (see below).
Their Blessings Ensured is represented by
AQUARIUS (The Water-Bearer). The Atonement being made (Leviticus 16),
the blessings have been procured, now they can be bestowed and poured
forth as water upon the Redeemed [us]. "He shall pour the water out
of His buckets, And His seed shall be in many waters, As rivers of water
in a dry place" (Isaiah 32:1, 2).
Their Blessings in Abeyance is PISCES (The
Fishes). The Hebrew name is Dagim, the Fishes. In Genesis 48:26, Jacob
blesses Joseph's sons, and says, "Let them grow into a multitude in
the midst of the earth." The margin in the Bible says, "Let them
grow as fishes do increase." It refers to the fulfillment of Genesis
1:28, "Be fruitful and multiply."The seed of Abraham was to be as the
stars of the sky, and the sand of the sea. "A very great multitude of
fish," (Ezekiel 47:9).
Their Blessings Consummated and Enjoyed in
ARIES (The Ram or Lamb). This second grouping of 4 constellations
(Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces and Aires) began with the Goat dying in
sacrifice, and ends here with the Lamb living again, "as it had been
slain." The goat had the tail of a fish, indicating that his death
was for a multitude of the redeemed. In the two middle Signs the fishes
represent Christ's gift presented to us in grace, and in their conflict.
This sign also ends up with victory and triumph; the foundation on which
that victory rests, Atonement, by the blood of the Lamb "When the
fullness of time was come, God sent forth His Son" (Gal 4:4), and "in
due time Christ died for the ungodly" (Rom 5:6).
Messiah, The Coming Judge of All the Earth
is TAURUS (The Bull). This is the last of the 3 groupings of 4 of the
constellations representing the coming of the Messiah. The star picture
formed is that of a Bull rushing forward with mighty energy and fierce
wrath, his horns set so as to push his enemies, and pierce them through
and destroy them. It is a prophecy of Christ, the coming Judge, and
Ruler, and "Lord of all the earth."
The Messiah's Reign as Prince of Peace by
GEMINI (The Twins). The two-fold nature of the King. The more ancient
star-names help us to see the many other myths regarding this sign.
Gemini represents the two-fold ministry of God and man, His twofold work
of suffering and glory, and His twofold coming in humiliation and in
Messiah's Redeemed Possessions represented
by CANCER (The Crab). Christ's possession held fast. This sign
represents the completion of His work. In Cancer we see it with
reference to His redeemed, and in the next (the last) Sign, Leo, with
reference to His enemies. The 3rd Decant of this sign beautifully
illustrates ARGO (The Ship). The redeemed pilgrims safe at home. Again
speaking of peace and security of the redeemed, Isaiah described it this
way: "The ransomed of the LORD shall return And come to Zion with
songs, And everlasting joy upon their heads; They shall obtain joy and
gladness, And sorrow and sighing shall flee away." Isaiah 35:10
Messiah's Consummated Triumph is LEO (The
Lion). The Lion of the Tribe of Judah aroused for the rending of the
Enemy. Here we come to the end of the Zodiac, beginning with Virgo, and
we end with Leo. Its Head is Virgo and its Tail is Leo. Leo is the end
of the Revelation of Christ or the end of the revelation written in the
heavens. The Zodiac was first divided when the sun at the summer
solstice was in 1 degree Virgo, where the woman's head joins the Lion's
tail. His feet are over the head of Hydra, the great Serpent, and just
about to descend upon it and crush it. The three constellations
(decants) of the Sign complete this final picture of the end of the
Hydra, the old Serpent destroyed.
Crater, the Cup of Divine wrath poured out
Corvus, the Bird of prey devouring him.
Thus we have the complete revelation of Christ
written in the stars. This truly is the revelation of Christ's redeeming
work on our behalf.
Bullinger, Witness of the Stars
The spirit comes,
The spirit goes,
From whence it comes,
Or goes we don't know.
The Greeks say its pnumea,
The Jews say ruah.
It's a fresh breath of life,
God's spirit, the end of strife.
Spirit's not the soul,
Or the silver bowl,
That ties to earth,
No its new life, birth
Without it we wander,
Thru life unknown, a beggar,
Lost in us we find,
Our being undefined.
We war for what,
From our secret argot,
A whim, a lust, anger
We think we know what's better.
The soul is lost,
The body is tossed,
Torn to and fro,
By that we don't know.
Oh Spirit show the way,
Come quickly to allay,
Our worst fears we have,
Only You can salve.
Abide in the Father
Jesus told us to abide in Him (John 15:4).
Abide or abiding means, in various languages, the following:
enduring, abiding; pertaining to continuing to exist and so remain in a
(sure) state. It can also mean a resumption of a prior state. In
Greek the word is μένω (menō): to stay,
remain, abide; to wait for, remain in a place or state, and expect
something in future; continue to exist, remain in existence; keep on,
continue in an activity or state, as an aspect of an action
(Swanson, James: Dictionary of Biblical Languages With Semantic Domains
: Greek (New Testament) With Semantic Domains).
Jesus said: "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser...
"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself
unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.
"I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him,
he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. "If anyone
does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and
they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. "If
you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and
it will be done for you. "My Father is glorified by this, that you bear
much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. "Just as the Father has
loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. "If you keep My
commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's
commandments and abide in His love" (John 15:1-10).
Too often Christians live an up and down
existence. We are swayed this way and that by the circumstances of our
daily lives. Paul said: "...As a result, we are no longer to be
children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind
of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful
scheming;" (Ephesians 4:14).
Jesus said: "Therefore everyone who hears
these words of Mine and acts on [does] them, may be compared to a wise
man who built his house on the rock. "And the rain fell, and the floods
came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did
not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. "Everyone who hears these
words of Mine and does not act on [do] them, will be like a foolish man
who built his house on the sand. "The rain fell, and the floods came,
and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell–and great
was its fall" (Matthew 7:24-27).
If we are not constantly abiding in the
Father, a stormy situation or a great test of our faith can cause us to
turn away from the Lord; whereas had we been abiding with Him we would
not have been moved. Conversely, when we are hit by something unexpected
we try to use our religious mechanics to get us out of a situation
created by our lack of abiding. The age old saying that "there are no
atheists in foxholes" generally applies to wavering Christians who
reserve their contact with the Lord until something they think of as
"bad" happens. According to Heb. 12:5–11, there are several ways
Christians may respond to the chastening of God: we may despise it, and
refuse to confess; we may faint and give up; or we may endure God's
chastening, confess our sins, and trust Him to work everything out for
our good and His glory. This is a form of abiding in Him because when we
abide we know that no matter what comes He turns it to good, and we are
not moved by adverse circumstances or God's chastening (Romans 8:28).
With whom do we abide? The Lord Jesus or the
Father? Christ said: "Jesus said [to Thomas] "I am the way,
and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
"If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on
you know Him, and have seen Him."Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the
Father, and it is enough for us."Jesus said to him, "Have I been so long
with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen
Me has seen the Father; how can you say, 'Show us the Father'? "Do you
not believe that I am in [abiding in] the Father, and the Father
is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own
initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. "Believe Me
that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe
because of the works themselves. "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who
believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works
than these he will do; because I go to the Father" (John 14:5-16).
Jesus relationship was with the Father. He
reiterates over and over that it is not Him doing the great works but
the Father doing them through Him. He repeats that it is the Father who
is the original recipient of the glory. Christ and His Sons and
disciples, are glorified together with the Father. There comes a time
when everything, all of creation, is turned over to the Father the
Creator. "...then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the
God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and
power" (1 Corinthians 15:24).
We must accept the fact that it is God's
intention that we become Sons like Jesus Christ. "For it was fitting
for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in
bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation
through sufferings. For both He who sanctifies and those who are
sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed
to call them brethren," (Hebrews 2:10-11).
John says: "Beloved, now we are children of
God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when
He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is"
(John 3:2). This does not say we see Him when we die but we see Him
"when He appears". If we are to become like Christ then to see us should
be like seeing the Father, just as Christ said to the disciples about
Christ said at the last supper: "The glory
which You [the Father] have given Me I have given to them, that
they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they
may be perfected in unity, so that the world may continually know that
You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. "Father, I
desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so
that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me
before the foundation of the world. "O righteous Father, although the
world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that
You sent Me; and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it
known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in
them" (John 17:22-26).
Jesus abode in the Father. So we are to abide
in the Father as He did and does. Since eventually all things created
are turned over to the Father, we likewise abide in the Father who is
the ultimate recipient of everything. Why should a believer be limited
to have to continually go to the Son for our spiritual life and
sustenance? Jesus went straight to the Father and abode only with Him.
Nothing from Satan came through to Him to divert Him from His ultimate
course. He said: "I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler
of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me; but so that the world
may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded
Me. Get up, let us go from here" (John 14:30-31). Christ was abiding
in the Father and did nothing except what the Father commanded.
Therefore Satan had no hold on Him, no button to push, as he pushes our
As we have seen earlier abiding is a continual
lifestyle. You don't abide for a while then take a break. We are to be
abiding continually; that means all the time. Then we are like Christ
who abided only with the Father, not in this world of futility. He said
that we, like Him, are in the world but not of it (John 17:15). We are
lifted into the abiding place of Christ at the right hand of the Father.
The communion is a form of abiding. "He who
eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. "As the
living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats
Me, he also will live because of Me" (John 6:56-57). "As for you,
let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you
heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son
and in the Father" (1 John 2:24).
God's name in Hebrew is translated "I am"
(Exodus 3:14). We reach the state where we just are. Great works? Abide
in the Father and they come naturally. We don't have to pray all day in
some religious exercise to get what we need. When we abide the thing is
just done. We abide in His rest. "Therefore, let us fear if, while a
promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have
come short of it [by disobedience]" (Hebrews 4:1-5). When we
abide continually we are in complete obedience.
You certainly do not have to believe in
numerology to walk with Christ. However, it is unquestionable that
certain numbers appear and reappear in the Bible with frequency. Even
the original languages, Hebrew and Greek, have numerical values that are
uncanny and both languages had numbers corresponding to their words.
However, some numbers used in the Bible are obvious and it is here that
Like astrology, numerology has been perverted
in modern society and in pagan religions from the dawn of time. Numbers
are used in such cults as witchcraft, various occult sciences, Kabala,
fortune telling etc. The science varies in interpretation from one group
to another but most of it borders on God's prohibition, in the Old
Testament, against occultism practiced in the Canaanite countries
surrounding Israel. Where there is a perversion, there is usually an
original truth to be perverted. Biblical numerology is fairly straight
forward and, whether you believe it or not, below is a brief summary of
the commonly used Biblical numbers and their meanings.
ONE: The number of unity or oneness. "The
Lord our God is one God" (Deuteronomy 6:4). Judaism continues to
this day to use this scripture as a denial of the trinity.
TWO: Division of natures and things. Examples
are the dual nature of Christ (God/man), male/female, Old and New
Covenants (Testaments), sheep/goats, this age/the age to come etc. Also,
Noah's animals 2x2, the one law written on two tablets, where two of you
agree it will be done etc.
THREE: Divine perfection. As one writer put it
"we live in a trinity of trinities". The Father, son, Holy Spirit;
spirit, soul and body, past, present future; height, width and depth,
solid, liquid, gas; three bear witness of Christ- "Spirit, water,
blood "(1 John 5:8); three appearances of Christ "past, present,
future (Hebrews 9:26-28) and three parts to the ancient temple "the
outer court, the holy place and the holiest of holies (the inner
sanctuary); a "three-fold cord" is not easily broken.
FOUR: Creation. North, South, East West; four
seasons; the materials of the tabernacle; four angels holding back four
corners of the earth; four winds of the earth (Revelations 7:1); four
corners of the court in the new tabernacle (Ezekiel 46: 21-14); four
living beings (Ezekiel 1:5); Daniel's four great beasts (7:2-4); The
Table for the show-bread in the tabernacle (Ezekiel 15:26). "You
shall make four gold rings for it and put rings on the four corners
which are on its four feet" (Ezekiel 37:3); four living creatures
around the throne; etc. (Revelation 5:6-8). There are many references to
"four" in the description of the tabernacle. The fourth clause of the
Lord's Prayer is the first that relates to the earth.
FIVE: The number of Grace. 5000 fed by Jesus
(Mark 6:33); outside measurements of the tabernacle, 5 hundred reeds by
500 x 500 x 500 reeds on the north, south, east and west; bronze altar
in the tabernacle in the wilderness, where the people came with their
offerings to receive God's grace in forgiveness of sins (Exodus 27:1-4);
five smooth stones by David to defeat Goliath (1 Samuel 17:40); Holy
Anointing Oil used in offerings to the Lord had five components (Exodus
SIX: The number of man. Man created on the 6th
day; the serpent was created on the sixth day; 666 means the triad of
man through Satan, a mockery of the Godly triad (Father, Son, Holy
Spriit); and if the triune nature of man (spirit, soul and body); also
the number of the anti-Christ and the beast. 666 was Satan's best chance
of controlling the world by controlling the commercial/money realm of
buying and selling.
SEVEN: The number of God or the number of
spiritual perfection. The times seven is used in the Bible is very
numerous and probably obvious to all. A few examples: 7 seals, 7
trumpets (the voice of God), 7 parables in Matthew, 7 promises to the 7
churches, seven spirits of God (Revelation 1:4), God rested on the
seventh day after saying "it is Good" referring to creation, The
Sabbath is on the seventh day, the year of Jubilee is 49 years (7x7),
Noah's instructions before the flood (Genesis 7:2-4), seven days in the
Feast of Passover, the feast of Deliverance of the Jews from Egypt by
God, Pharaoh's dream, interpreted by Joseph contains 13 sevens; the
instructions for the Jewish Feast of Booths (Feast of Tabernacles)
contains 6 sevens, this being the Feast of God tabernacling with man
(6&7); the instructions for the conquering of Jericho by Joshua contains
11 sevens (Joshua 6;4-16; on the seventh day the walls fell down, seven
loaves in the feeding of the 5000 with 7 baskets left over the list goes
EIGHT: The number of new beginnings. There
were eight people on Noah's ark, a new beginning for human kind (2 Peter
2:5); circumcision of the eighth day; eight covenants between God and
Abraham. Also, the transfiguration: "But I say to you truthfully,
there are some of those standing here who will not taste death until
they see the kingdom of God." SOME EIGHT DAYS AFTER THESE SAYINGS,
He took along Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to
pray. And while He was praying, the appearance of His face became
different, and His clothing became white and gleaming. And behold, two
men were talking with Him; and they were Moses and Elijah, (Luke
9:27-30); Scorpio the eighth sign of the zodiac representing the
scorpion or serpent.
NINE: The number of Judgment. The following
Greek words occur nine times in the Bible (here English translations
only given): Greek for bottomless pit, ungodly, lasciviousness, and
lightning. There are 9 Greek words appearing in the Bible meaning in
Greek Judgment. There are nine gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians
TEN: Divine Perfection. 10 commandments, 10
plagues in Egypt, 10 lepers cleansed (Luke 17:11-14; ten virgins
(Matthew 25:1). 10,000 and 1000 are used many times as well: 100 will
put 1000 to flight, 1000 will put 10,000 to flight; "A thousand may
fall at your side; and ten thousand at your right hand, But it shall not
approach you" (Psalm 91:7).
TWELVE: 12 tribes of Israel, 12 disciples, the
144,000 in Revelation (12x12), 12,000 from each tribe, twelve
foundations in the heavenly New Jerusalem; the measurements of New
Jerusalem were 12,000 stadia, the wall 144 cubits (12x12); it also had:
"a had a great and high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve
angels; and names were written on them, which are the names of the
twelve tribes of the sons of Israel" (Rev. 21:12). There were three
gates on the east and three gates on the north and three gates on the
south and three gates on the west.(3x4=12) And the wall of the city had
twelve foundation stones, and on them were the twelve names of the
twelve apostles of the Lamb"(Revelation 21:12-14). "The foundation
stones of the city wall were adorned with every kind of precious stone.
The first foundation stone was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third,
chalcedony; the fourth, emerald; the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth,
sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz;
the tenth, chrysoprase; the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, amethyst;
and the twelve gates were twelve pearls;" (Revelation 21:19-21). And
twelve musicians selected from each family by lot by David (1 Chronicles
25:8-31) and 12 signs in the Biblical Zodiac.
40: Jesus tempted 40 days, Moses fasted 40
days (twice), Israelites in wilderness 40 years, 40 days of Jonah and
Nineveh (Jonah 3:4).
This is only a partial list. The information
is presented here for your information, interest and enjoyment.
Cleanse Your Conscience Before God
The problem with mankind is that he invariably
thinks he can be righteous or good before God. He thinks that if he just
improves himself, acts a little better, is a little nicer to people he
doesn't like (the list goes on) that he will thereby become a better
person and thus pleasing to God. All self improvement programs that cram
our society today are based on this principle. They teach that if we
improve ourselves and be more "good" that our problems will be solved
and that if you are a Christian you will "go to heaven". This can aptly
be described as "striving after wind" (Ecclesiastes 4:4).
Psychotherapy is based on this principle. They
teach how to cope with impossible situations in our lives and call that
ability to cope "change" instead of teaching how to get rid of the
problem completely. Alcoholics Anonymous teaches you to "change" by
requiring an unrelenting adherence to a set of regulations designed to
control your actions. Once you can control your actions they call that
change. None of these methods deal with the inner you which is the part
that needs to change. Only Christ offers real change, not a change in
the way you act, but a change in what you are.
Man's conscience is a part of the human
nature. It tells man what is right, wrong or moral and we act
accordingly. In essence it tells us that "I can do it, I don't need
God". The nature refuses the free gift of grace in favor "doing the
right thing" and "appearing to be something that they are not". Christ
accused the Pharisees of that very thing; that is trying to be something
they were not, making them hypocrites. This hypocrisy is the basis of
most of organized religion today.
What Christ was saying is that man is by
nature sinful, a nature he has inherited from the original sin in the
Garden. There is no way he can be made righteous by his own efforts or
by walking out the dictates of his conscious. The Old Covenant, made
before Christ, allowed man to be temporarily forgiven of sin by
continual sacrifices; that forgiveness lasted only for a short period of
time. The sinner had to continually "renew" his forgiveness by more
sacrifices. Under the New Covenant, Christ became a permanent sacrifice.
By the New Covenant man need accept the grace of Christ to be righteous.
As he went to Christ, under the New Covenant, Christ would "write His
Laws on their hearts" (Hebrews 8:10). That is, he would transfer His
very nature to man so that man would become sinless, producing a nature
like Christ. The only righteousness God recognizes is that of His Son.
Man can never be righteous in himself.
Why is our conscious described as evil and why
does our conscience need to be cleansed? Conscious is defined as: "the
sense or consciousness of the moral goodness or blameworthiness of one's
own conduct, intentions, or character together with a feeling of
obligation to do right or be good" (Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 11th
Ed.). The conscious is that innate thing within man that tells him what
is right or wrong, and based on its dictates we act accordingly.
Everyone has a conscious and no two consciousnesses are completely
alike. This diversity of consciences, right and wrong, are the source of
the division we see today between persons, races, nations, religions and
in the political arena.
The problem with the human conscious is that
it takes the place of God in our lives. What the conscience does is
dictate to us what is right or wrong in our lives, in the life of others
and in our perception of the world in general. As the Lord told the
young ruler (Matthew 9:16-22) there is no one "good" except God. What is
good in God's eyes is usually opposite what we tell ourselves is right
according to our conscience. The result of man's following his own
conscience is a result called "dead works". Hebrews says:
"...how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit
offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from
dead works to serve the living God?" (v 9:14). Hebrews 6:1 says:
"Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us
press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from
dead works and of faith toward God".
Dead works are works that are created from a
human level. The opposite "living works" originate from God. Living
works are those works which have been prepared by God for the believer
to walk in. Mankind itself, without Christ, exists in a state of
death-separation from God, making living works impossible. In the
beginning God told Adam and Eve: "From any tree of the garden you may
eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you
shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die"
(Genesis 2:16-17). In Eden there was no death but when the first people
ate from the forbidden tree, they immediately entered into death. As
Paul said: "For the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). From
that moment the result of their disobedience (sin) was death. From that
time, until Christ, no matter what man did, he was doing so from the
place of being part of the "walking dead". Any works he did, whether or
not his conscious told him he was doing the good, right or moral thing,
the works produced only death-they were dead works no matter how well
Today we see dead works everywhere we look as
people attempt to please God by doing what is right in their own sight,
by the dictates of their own conscious. Jesus said this about dead
works, works created by man, which were nothing more than man doing his
own thing, not God's. In Matthew 7:21-23 He said: "Not everyone who
says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who
does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. "Many will say
to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in
Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' "And
then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO
PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS" The works they did, mighty as they were, were
not God's works but were works of man, originating from a seared
conscious; all the time believing they were pleasing God but were
producing only lawlessness.
God is the only one who is righteous. Christ
made this clear in the parable of the young ruler. "And someone came
to Him and said, "Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain
eternal life?" And He said to him, "Why are you asking Me about what is
good? There is only One who is good;" (Matthew 19:16-22). The young
man went on to recount all the good things he had done in his life and
the Lord rejected them because there was nothing he could do to be
"good" before the Lord, even by following all the Jewish laws. To be
good the Lord required him to sell his possessions, leave all and follow
Him. The Lord knew that a religious adherence to a set of laws does not
make one righteous. He knew that the young man had to utterly and
completely change his way of thinking and deny his religious nature and
his concepts, derived from his conscious, as to what was "good".
Christ said: "If anyone wishes to come
after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow
Me. "For whoever wishes to save his life [soul] will lose it, but
whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. "For
what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or
forfeits himself?" (Luke 9:23-25). Notice that Christ didn't say he
who "improves himself" or makes himself "more spiritual or more
self-righteous". He said that everything had to go including a man's
self life. Just as Christ lost His life for us so we too must lose our
lives for His sake.
Another poignant example of the difference
between the works of our conscious is recorded in Luke 9:59-62: "And
He [Jesus] said to another, "Follow Me." But he said, "Lord, permit me
first to go and bury my father."But He [Jesus] said to him, "Allow the
dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere
the kingdom of God." And: "Another also said, "I will follow You,
Lord; but first permit me to say good-bye to those at home." But Jesus
said to him, "No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking
back, is fit for the kingdom of God." According to the human way of
thinking what could be more important than burying your own Father or
saying goodbye to your family? The Lord had other ideas as to what was
right, proper or moral. In His eyes nothing was more important than
doing the living works of proclaiming the Kingdom of God. As God said:
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,"
"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher
than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:8-9).
The book of Ephesians tells of the living
works that God wants us to enter into. "For by grace you have been
saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God"
(Ephesians 2:8). (He provides salvation, and then gives us enough faith
to believe it); not as a result of works, that no one should boast"
(Ephesians 2:9). Man's self initiated dead works creates in him a
feeling of self righteousness. There is never a reason for anyone to
boast when something is from God, not from ourselves. If it is worth
having, God gave it. If God did not give it, then it is not worth
boasting about. "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus
for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in
them" (Ephesians 2:8–10). These are the living works. These are the
works of God. Man always believes that if he just does enough of his own
works God will take notice and approve. You can never work your way into
God's favor by doing any amount of your own good works dictated by your
Christ brought with Him a New Covenant. This
displaced the Old Covenant of the Old Testament where righteousness was
determined by the way one acted. That is why the writer of Hebrews said:
"and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw
near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts
sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure
water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for
He who promised is faithful" (Hebrews 10:21-23).
When Christ died on the cross scripture says:
"And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed His last. And the veil of
the temple was torn in two from top to bottom" (Mark 15:37-38; Luke
23:45; Matthew 27:51). The veil was the curtain that separated the
Holiest place in the in the old temple from the rest of the temple. It
was where the Ark of the Covenant was kept, with the tablets containing
the 10 Commandments and the showbread and the manna (Hebrews 9:1-28).
Under the Old Covenant only Moses and the high priest (once a year) were
allowed behind the curtain into the holiest place, the presence of God.
When Christ died the veil was torn in two symbolizing the fact that
through His death all now had access to the holiest place, the presence
of God. All our old dead works, including those of our conscious, were
done away with as the veil was rent and our hearts were completely
"Therefore, brethren, since we have
confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and
living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His
flesh" (Hebrews 10:19-20). Man's conscience, despite all this, would
still say he had to do something to deserve this great gift. Man's
defiled conscience says he has to make himself good in order to be
approved by God. It is actually arrogance in the nature of man that man
still wants to sit on the throne and feels he does not need God; he can
do it himself.
The writer of Hebrews takes this cleansing of
conscience very seriously. By receiving Christ, and his promise by
grace, we enter into His rest. We cease from our own efforts to be
righteousness and simply accept His righteousness. The Israelite nation
of the Old Testament was an obstinate and disobedient people most of the
time. God was displeased with them many times because of their (putting
it mildly) falling away. Yet, through all of that, He provided Christ
the Lamb of God who had the potential to take away all the sin and
disobedience of man, including the Israelite nation. God, in His
infinite wisdom, realized that the man of flesh could never, on his own,
inherit righteousness. Hebrews warns us of falling into that same trap.
He says: "Therefore, let us fear if, while
a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have
come short of it. For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just
as they [the Jews] also; but the word they heard did not profit them,
because it was not united by faith in those who heard. For we who have
believed enter that rest, just as He has said, "AS I SWORE IN MY WRATH,
THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST," although His works were finished from the
foundation of the world. For He has said concerning the seventh day "AND
GOD RESTED ON THE SEVENTH DAY FROM ALL HIS WORKS" (Genesis 2:2) and
again in this passage, "THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST" (Psalm 95:11".
Therefore, since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly
had good news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience"
(Hebrews 4:1-5). (the disobedience is the failing to accept God's rest
and His righteousness as a thing already accomplished by God). We cease
from our own efforts to be righteous as we enter into His rest.
In other words God's gift of grace allows us
to rest from all our labors including the all consuming labor of trying
to be righteous and good before Him according to our consciences which
dictate concepts of right and wrong. Remember there is only One who is
good, that is God. We rest in His righteousness and not strive in ours.
The Bible uses numerous words to denote fear.
The most common of these (giving the noun forms) are Hebrew yir'â,
'reverence'; Hebrew paḥaḏ, dread', 'fear'; Greek phobos, 'fear',
'terror'. The fear we will focus on here is the "dread, fear and terror"
that a man who walks with God often encounters.
There is a Holy fear expressed variously as
"fear of the Lord". This is not fear but reverence. There is a fear of
the Lord that comes from the believer's apprehension of the living God,
who is so "all knowing" and "all powerful". "Fear of God is the
beginning of wisdom" (Proverbs 9:10). But Holy fear is God-given,
enabling men to reverence God's authority, obey his commandments and
hate and shun all form of evil (Je. 32:40; Gn. 22:12; Heb. 5:7). It is,
moreover, the beginning (or principle) of wisdom (Ps. 111:10); the
secret of uprightness (Pr. 8:13); a feature of the people in whom God
delights (Ps. 147:11); and the whole duty of man (Ec. 12:13). It is also
one of the divine qualifications of the Messiah (Is. 11:2-3).
However there is a fear that comes from Satan
that is torment. "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts
out fear; for fear has torment, [or punishment] and he that fears
has not been made perfect in love" (1 John 4:18). Sometimes a spirit
of fear will come against a man even when he has faith at the same time.
The enemy would try to dislodge the faith that God has brought to him.
That spirit of fear must be rejected. If not we will not be made perfect
A wise man once said "fear freezes, faith
frees". It is the creation of a cloud of fear that hangs over you
because you do not turn to the Lord and fix your mind and your heart
upon him. David was a man who went through many troubles but he said
"My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed" (Psalm 57:7). When a
man turns to the Lord and he fixes his mind and his heart upon the Lord,
it is inevitable that great peace and great blessing will attend him and
that is important. It is also important for us to remember that it says
in II Timothy 1:7. "For God gave as not a spirit of fearfulness; but
of power and love and discipline", or as in the King James
translation, "a sound mind". It means a "disciplined mind," "wise
discretion." So if you are fearful in heart, remember that God did not
give you that spirit of fear; because God gives us the spirit of power,
and of love, and of discipline to our thinking, so that we can meditate
upon Him and understand His will, His purpose and His goodness which is
beamed toward us (Stevens, John Robert: (This Week, Volume I (1970).
Living Word Publications, 1980, p. 53).
Fear places the man of God under an
intolerable bondage. Christ appeared that "He might render powerless
him who had the power of death, that is, the devil; and might deliver
those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives"
Hebrews 2:10–15. This passage speaks of rendering powerless Satan who
had the power of death. Jesus came and took upon Himself our flesh and
blood, so that He might defeat the devil in His death, that we could be
delivered from the fear of death.
The disciples, like most people, were
conditioned to respond with fear instead of faith. In a great storm,
with the winds so contrary, instead of them being thankful for the one
person that could control it, they didn't believe; they didn't accept
Him as He was. "When He [Jesus] got into the boat, His disciples
followed Him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that
the boat was being covered with the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep.
And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, "Save us, Lord; we are
perishing!" He said to them, "Why are you afraid, [cowardly] you men of
little faith?" Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it
became perfectly calm. The men were amazed, and said, "What kind of a
man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?" (Matthew
8:23-27). Their fears painted a completely different picture of what was
taking place. They should have known the Lord of Heaven and earth was on
their boat and that he would not have let them perish. Do we believe the
Lord is on pur boat? Or do we shrink back in fear anticipating the worst
in every situation?
The U.S. President Roosevelt once told his
nation, which was in the direst of circumstances, "all we have to
fear is fear itself". That is because fear is the root of nearly
every negative human reaction. What is personal insecurity but a form of
fear? What is the fear of man but fear itself? Fear of man can be a
blind dread of man and what they can do (Numbers 14:9; Isaiah 8:12;
Proverbs 29:25). Why do we respond in fear more often than we respond in
faith? Revelation says: "He who overcomes will inherit these things,
and I will be his God and he will be My son. "But for the cowardly
[fearful] and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral
persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in
the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death"
(verses 21:7-8). It is the cowardly and fearful, and the unbelieving who
lead the parade into hell, even before the murderers and immoral
persons. What is fear but a lack of faith and an unbelieving heart?
Without faith (the absence of fear) it is
impossible to please God. Hebrews says: "And without faith it is
impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He
is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him"
(Hebrews 11:6). We can do many things but all are fruitless unless we
have faith. We can do many things motivated by fear but they will not
please God. What we do and what we become must be done with faith.
In addition to faith it is love that casts out
fear. "Beloved let us love one another, for love is from God; and
everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not
love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was
manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world
so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved
God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for
our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one
another. No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God
abides in us, and His love is perfected in us...By this, love is perfected
with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because
as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but
perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment
[torment], and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love,
because He first loved us" (1 John 4:7-21).
We are not so naïve as to say that as
Christians and non-Christians we face many fearful circumstances in our
lives that seem overwhelming. But faith is a gift (1 Corinthians 12:9)
and all we need do is ask for more faith. Faith is not a natural trait
of human man; it is a gift of God. The Lord said: "But now, thus says
the LORD, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, "Do
not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are
Mine! "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through
the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire,
you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you. "For I am the
LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior;" (Isaiah 43:1-3)
God has promised us He will always be with us.
His last words to his disciples were: "I am with you always, even to
the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20). If Jesus is always in our boat
what have we to fear?
Order Verses Chaos In Life - The Reality of Futility
This article is written from a purely Biblical
perspective. This is not philosophy but from a revelation given by God,
and confirmed in the Word of God. Confusion is rampant in those who do
not understand the truth and are not spiritual. Order in this present
earth is impossible due to deep chasms of disagreement in race,
factions, opinions, religious conflicts and the like infecting the
people of all nations. Many will call the view expressed here
negativity, but sometimes we have to face the truth no matter how ugly.
Hopefully, this article will clear up some of the confusion and point a
way of hope for the future.
What is called here on earth "chaos" is
actually futility. God subjected creation to futility (Romans 8:20) at
the time Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden. They were taken
from a spiritual world where God sustained them with all good things.
They knew no chaos or strife; there was no hunger, grief, temptation,
wickedness, death or sickness.
Because of their disobedience they were cast
into another world where they had to eat bread produced by the sweat of
their brows. Thorns and thistles fought against their very subsistence.
"Then the LORD God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us,
knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take
also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever"–therefore the
LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground
from which he was taken. So He drove the man out; and at the east of the
garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which
turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life"
(Genesis 3:22-24). The world quickly became so evil it had to be
destroyed by a flood (Genesis chapters 6-7). The world we live in now is
beset by this same evil, perhaps to the greatest extent ever.
We live in a constant state of futility, the
same futility as the first humans were subjected to. Futility is
variously defined as: "ineffective, useless, not successful, vain,
idle, unprofitable, trivial and frivolous". Take a look at what man
has produced in his centuries of striving, ending in the capstone 21st
century. We live in a world of decay, wickedness, self exaltation,
unsolvable problems, wars, factions, disputes and lust. Even as we
experience great increasing knowledge, we most often find the problems
grow rather than abate. We sit now truly on the edge of destruction.
Most are unaware of the impending doom.
King Solomon, known as the wisest man of his
time, reached the same conclusions. In the Book of Ecclesiastes he
speaks of the vanity (translated futility) of all of creation.
"The words of the Preacher, the son of David,
king in Jerusalem.
"Vanity of vanities," says the Preacher,
"Vanity of vanities! All is vanity."
[futility and futility of futilities]
What advantage does man have in all his work?
"All things are wearisome;
Man is not able to tell it.
The eye is not satisfied with seeing,
Nor is the ear filled with hearing.
That which has been is that which will be,
And that which has been done is that which
will be done.
So there is nothing new under the sun.
"Is there anything of which one might say,
"See this, it is new"?
Already it has existed for ages
Which were before us
There is no remembrance of earlier things;
And also of the later things which will occur,
There will be for them no remembrance
Among those who will come later still."
` Solomon went on to test his thesis by
acquiring great masses of wealth, luxury and everything he set his eye
upon. He concluded that this too was futility (Ecc. 2:11). He says thus
"So I turned to consider wisdom, madness and
folly; for what will the man do who will come after the king except what
has already been done? And I saw that wisdom excels folly as light
excels darkness. The wise man's eyes are in his head, but the fool walks
in darkness. And yet I know that one fate befalls them both. Then I said
to myself, "As is the fate of the fool, it will also befall me. Why then
have I been extremely wise?" So I said to myself, "This too is vanity."
For there is no lasting remembrance of the wise man as with the fool,
inasmuch as in the coming days all will be forgotten. And how the wise
man and the fool alike die! So I hated life, for the work which had been
done under the sun was grievous [evil] to me; because everything is
futility and striving after wind" (Ecc. 2:12-17).
So it is in this age. No wonder we are in
chaos. No matter what we do the same fate awaits us. Most of us are gone
and forgotten as death robs us of the gaining anything permanent.
Nothing in this life takes away the pain, the longing for something
better. We seek pleasure in possessions, and yet the longing is not
satisfied. Most give up on their dreams in the face of the harsh reality
of this life. And, as Solomon said, it doesn't matter what you do or
what you possess or how happy or sad you are because all that you are is
just a passing scene to be forgotten in the years to come. That is
` What can we do about this prison we all are
in? Certainly we cannot change it by protest rallies, elections,
petitioning our congressman, learning Eastern religious techniques,
finding a lover or making a billion dollars and giving it all away to
worthy causes. Nothing we DO can accomplish anything. We can't do
because we have our human nature to contend with, the one that is
totally focused, at the end of the day, on itself. The apostle Paul put
it this way: "Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the
body of this death?" (Romans 7:24).
If you are convinced that we actually living
in such a world, there is a way out. Our unspiritual fallen natures are
called in the Bible "the flesh". We are either living in the "flesh" or
in the Spirit. Paul explained it thus: "For those who are according
to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who
are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set
on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,
because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not
subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and
those who are in the flesh cannot please God" (Romans 8:5-8).
And further: "for if you are living
according to the flesh, you are going to die; but if by the Spirit you
are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who
are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God" (Romans
So the problem really boils down to the human
nature. It is the nature that caused the chaos and lack of order that we
live in now, the nature we acquired from Adam and Eve's original sin.
The human nature must be changed before any real progress can be made in
the world about us. We have to learn to see and move in the invisible
(to us) realm of the spirit.
"God is a spirit" (John 4:24). We can only
know Him through our human spirits, not through our minds, souls or
bodies. And in Him is real life, eternal as it was once and should be
now. In Him is the solution to all the world's problems. As long as we
continue to exist in this temporal world, doing what seems right to us,
we will always fail and ultimately die. And all that time the answer was
as close to us as our breath. All we need to do is reach into Him and
receive His free gift of life.
How do we change? We do not change by
self-discipline, by a rigid code of conduct, by self-improvement
programs, psychology or by this religion or that. All we can really do
in ourselves is change our outward appearance or change our actions. We
don't change inside. We don't obtain a completely new nature. "Can
the Ethiopian change his skin Or the leopard his spots?" (Jeremiah
We change by reaching into God's realm and
receiving a new nature. Jesus said you have to be born again. "Truly,
truly, I say to you, unless one is born again [born from above]
he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3).
We don't have to work for this change; it is
given to us at no cost by the grace of God. Grace is unmerited favor.
Scripture says that God loved the whole world and sent His only Son to
deliver us from this futility (John 3:16). This gift is free to all that
come to him.
"Seek and you will find. Knock and the door
will be opened" (Matthew 7:7). These are promises made by God to
anyone. God said that He subjected creation to futility in hope that the
spiritual Sons would arise and free creation from futility. "For the
anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the
sons of God. "For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly,
but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself
also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of
the glory of the children of God" (Romans 8:19-21). As evil is
displaced by God's Spirit, and Christ comes to rule and reign and be the
real government, the condition of this world will change. There will be
no more tears, crying, sickness or death.
John the writer of Revelation says it will be
like this: "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first
heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea
[means the sea of humanity stirred up like the waves and storms].
And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from
God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud
voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle [presence] of God
is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His
people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every
tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will
no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have
passed away." And He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making
all things new." And He said, "Write, for these words are faithful and
true" (Revelation 21:1-5).
When Christ died and was resurrected he
defeated death, futility and all evil. It remains for us to appropriate
this victory as our own. No human work will accomplish this. If that
were true humans would exalt themselves above God as being masters of
their own destinies. It is God who is to get the ultimate glory. He
wants to do this for us by the unmerited free gift of grace. Christ made
this gift available to all. We only fail if we refuse this free gift and
continue to hang onto life in its currently futile state.
Science and God
This article is meant to be representative of
a comparison of science and God in general, using an example of
statements made by the imminent physicist and author Dr. Stephen
Hawking, including his latest work The Grand Design. Recently Dr.
Hawking narrated a television program on "The Science Channel" called
Curiosity-Did God Create the Universe? Dr Hawking has written many
books on cosmology and has produced a number of television programs on
that subject and its companion "theoretical physics". I present this
article to rebut certain conclusions reached by Dr. Hawking but also to
rebut conclusions being drawn by cosmologists, "theoretical physicists"
and for that matter scientists of all pursuits worldwide. Since science
generally doesn't acknowledge God as the creator of the Universe, this
article generally rebuts that position, using Dr, Hawking as an example.
Recently Dr. Hawking hosted a television
program on the "Science Channel" entitled Curiosity-Did God Create the
Universe wherein he came to the conclusion that he had proved that there
could be no God and that creation was simply a by-product of the natural
processes of nature. To "prove" this he used the example of a "black
hole", a subject upon which he is considered a foremost expert. For
simplicity sake a black hole is the result of cosmic conditions creating
a situation where gas and matter fall in on themselves by the working of
gravity, reducing the matter in the hole to a very small point of
unlimited gravity and incalculable mass.
Dr. Hawking likened a black hole to the
infinitesimal point that exploded from what scientists call "The Big
Bang". That small point, the size of a proton in an atom or smaller,
exploded into the vast universe we see today. As an aside, scientists
can predict the state of the universe 10-41 of a second after "banging"
(that's a ".0" and 40 more zeros to the right, as a part of a second,
called a "plank's second". But try as they might they cannot discover
where this small piece of energy/matter came from in the first place.
The fact that the universe was essentially created out of nothing
visible is a major obstacle to them and all cosmologists studying this
subject. Unable to accept that the fact that something can be created
from nothing visible they concoct various theories to avoid having to
assent to that fact. The spiritual accept that fact: "By faith we
understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that
what is seen was not made out of things which are visible" (Hebrews
Hawking reasoned as follows: He said that if
you lowered a theoretical clock into a black hole (a real clock would
not survive of course) but as the clock reached the "bottom" of the
black hole time would stop. He was saying, of course, that at the bottom
of the black hole science has concluded that time ceases to exist. Space
and time, as we know them, cease to exist as they are basically
"squashed" out of existence by the massive gravitational force. .
This may all be true (we don't know because it
is only proven by mathematics) but Hawking went one step further. He
made the outrageous statement that since time did not exist at the
bottom of a black hole neither did it exist in the environment of the
singularity of the point of mass and energy that resulted in the big
bang. Therefore he concluded that, with no time existing under those
conditions, God would have had no time to create the universe.
This all makes fine reasonable atheistic
sense. The problem is that God does not live in time; He lives in the
spirit realm of eternity where time is only relevant to this creation
not to God. Science is continually looking for other dimensions, and
claims to have found 10 or 11 but they ignore the biggest other
dimension there is-the Spirit realm. "God is a spirit" (Gospel of
John 4:24). As such He lives outside of time and for that matter outside
the created universe. "In the beginning God created the heavens and
the earth" (Genesis 1:1). Along with that he created space, time,
matter, energy and all the elements that make up our cosmos. We could
reword Genesis 1:1 to correctly state: "In our beginning God created
etc.". It wasn't His beginning because He is an eternal being-it was our
beginning. Unfortunately the concept of the creation of something from
nothing remains the elephant in the room the scientists cannot ignore or
explain except by reasoning around it by this or that theory-there are
many proposed by this scientist or that.
Hawking recently wrote a book called The
Grand Design (Bantam Books, New York, 2010) where he comes to
basically the same conclusions. Here, however, he focuses on what is
called "M-theory" which means there are many other universes, not just
this one, that interact to form universes (plural) as a function of
nature. Part of this theory is that black holes from another universe
become the singularity of a new universe and form such as our universe
formed. M-theory is fine as a theory but it is only mathematically
proven as we have no evidence of these other universes. And even if
there are multi universes we have the same problem facing scientists
that is "who or what created the first one". As we have pointed out the
basic reason for this and other theories is to get around the fact that
God DID create something from nothing, a fact science cannot accept.
Dr. Hawking brings up some excellent points in
his chapter The Apparent Miracle from the same book which would
seem to contradict his own conclusions. This chapter would lead one to
believe that the earth and life thereon is more than a coincidence. It
would seem that the earth is unique in its positioning in the cosmos and
the set of "coincidences" that make it so. These views form part of a
theory called the "Rare Earth Theory" subscribed to by many scientists.
The view is that earth is so perfectly made and positioned that it would
take a creator executing a grand design to make it so.
Hawking discusses many of these "coincidences"
in his book while still concluding that they are just "coincidences of
nature" and have nothing to do with a god or a grand designer. First he
notes that over one-half of the stars in the universe are part of a
binary star system which for many reasons would make life improbable or
impossible. So we are "lucky" to be part of a single star system.
Secondly has to with the orbit of the earth.
The earth's orbit is not circular but is slightly ellipse at about 2%.
If our orbit were a perfect circle or varied from a circle by as little
as 1% life could not exist. With our orbital eccentricity we vary from
the Sun at only slight distances 91.5 million miles to 94.5 million
depending on the season. If the eccentricity of the earth's orbit were
nearer "one" instead of 2% our oceans would boil when we were closest to
the Sun and freeze when further away. For instance Mercury's orbit has a
20% eccentricity and the part facing the Sun is extremely hot while the
other side is very cold.
The tilt of our earth on its axis has more
effect on our climate that its orbit. As it is the earth is tilted 23.44
deg which gives our seasons a mild quality (as compared with other
planets with extreme climate change). If the tilt were less we would
have less severe seasons and with no tilt there would be no seasons,
probably with disastrous effects. For complex life to form and flourish
the tilt of our axis is probably just right to fuel the changes in life
that are necessary.
We are also "lucky" in relationship to our
Sun's mass and our distance from it. The mass of a star determines the
amount of energy (heat) it generates. If we were even 20% closer or
further from the Sun we would have a climate either hotter than Venus
(800f.) or colder that Mars (-200+f.).
As science searches the universe for a planet
similar to earth they have concluded that a planet must be in what they
call a "Goldilocks zone" (not too hot, not too cold). This zone is a
distance between a planet and its sun where liquid water would be
present and the climate would be friendly to our life form. It takes
into consideration the mass of the star, the mass of the planet and the
distance separating them. It turns out that our planet earth is
"coincidentally" within such a zone. So far astromomers have discovered
over 400 planets orbiting stars but none in this narrow band. Hawking
notes that Isaac Newton, father of physics, did not think our natural
habitable zone was created by accident out of the chaos of the Universe.
Instead he maintained "that order in the universe was created by
Further it appears that the earth could have
only been created at this certain time in the life of the universe. We
are composed of the elements of past exploded stars. In order to
manufacture the quantity of minerals and elements to support life is the
result of many, many exploded stars in our case taking place over 7-8
billion years before we came into existence. To explain, the universe is
believed to be 13.7 billion years old and we came along about 6 billion
years ago. If we had been created earlier it is likely there would not
have been enough of the specific elements available at the time to form
Also our atomic (the world of atoms called
"quantum physics") is composed of a strong nuclear force and a weak
force. These, and the electromagnetic force, are the forces that hold
atoms together. Gravity is also involved but scientists have not figured
out how. Hawking says that if there was as little as a .05% change in
the strong force and 4% in the weaker electrical force there would be no
carbon or oxygen, essential for life as we know it. Luck?
Our Moon was created some 4.5 million years
ago when a Mars sized planet struck the earth a glancing blow and the
debris from that collision coalesced into our Moon. What if we had no
Moon? It is also theorized by some that life itself would be virtually
impossible without a moon, since the moon has a stabilizing effect on
the orientation of the earth's axis. Without the moon, the north-south
axis would vary tremendously-- to the point where the poles would shift
suddenly and frequently. These changes would mean that there would be no
stable seasons, and it's questionable whether or not the planet would be
able to sustain life. The Moon also has the effect of churning the
oceans in what are called tides. But the churning of the waters has
effect on the feeding of sea animals as a still ocean would affect that.
It appears that our Moon is of perfect size and therefore gravitational
pull to stabilize the earth's orbit and without it, seasons and climate
would fluctuate wildly. Cosmic luck that the collision happened the way
it did or the design of a creator? If the planet had struck earth head
on it is likely both planets would have been destroyed.
There is one other rare phenomenon that occurs
on earth that it appears would be unlikely to occur anywhere else-the
solar eclipse. As seen from the Earth, a solar eclipse occurs when the
Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, and the Moon fully or
partially blocks the Sun as viewed from a location on Earth. In order to
have a total solar eclipse, the earth, moon and the Sun have to be in
the exact positions they are and of the mass they are in order for the
Moon disc to completely cover the Sun as occurs in a total eclipse. If
the Moon were smaller, the Sun larger or if the distance from the earth
to the Sun were changed, there would be no eclipse. Solar eclipses have
had significant spiritual or psychological effect on mankind over the
ages. Is this just one more thing God created for our wonder and
enjoyment or just another cosmic coincidence?
As for Dr. Hawking's M-theory, and if there
are multiple universes, we are still back at question 1. Who or what
created the first one? And since he is speaking as a scientist what real
proof do we have of this theory? To go back to the beginning, man just
cannot accept the notion that the cosmos was created from nothing, by a
God who lives in a dimension that the unspiritual man cannot see or
sense. Science complicates everything to the point that we have to build
miles long particle colliders, at billions of dollars, to attempt to
discover the secrets of God. So far there has been no results. To God
His ways are past finding out anyway (Romans 11:33; Job 9:10).
Dr, Hawking notes the obvious in the last
portion of his book: "The laws of nature tells how the universe
behaves, but they don't answer why? Why is there something rather than
nothing? Why do we exist? Why this particular set of laws and not some
other?" He goes on: "Some would claim the answers to these
questions is that there is a God who chose to create it this way".
Then he asks: "If there is a god then who created God?" This
represents the sum total of man's knowledge of the truth, which is so
plain to the spiritual man.
Man in his quest for answers has recently
discovered that over 90% of the universe is composed of matter and
energy that are invisible to man (so called "dark matter" and "dark
energy". So when man examines the cosmos he is seeing only 10% or less
of what's really there! Yet he exalts himself for his superior knowledge
of the cosmos. If 90% of the physical universe is invisible why can't he
accept an invisible spirit realm?
As the Apostle Paul said about spiritual
things: "But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit
of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them,
because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual
appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one" (1
Satan always wanted to be God and he wanted
man to worship him. Isaiah said of Satan: "But you said in your
heart, 'I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars
of God, And I will sit on the mount of assembly In the recesses of the
north. 'I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make
myself like the Most High" (Isaiah 14:13-14). It is Satan's nature
we acquired as a human race as a result of the original sin. Our human
nature refuses to recognize something greater than itself. Man continues
to plod along, using his own understanding, to attempt to figure out
things which are unknowable to the human mind, which in the end is all
to no avail.
The History of Babylon
The Book of Genesis is a book of beginnings;
the Book of Revelation is a book of endings. In the Book of Genesis the
first two chapters are without sin; and then in the third chapter sin is
introduced. In the nineteenth chapter of the Book of Revelation, the
third to the last chapter, you find the Lord of lords taking over and
abolishing sin. In the last two chapters, there is no sin again, just as
in the first two chapters of Genesis. This is largely because of the
perverse system of religion, created and maintained by Satan over the
ages, which we will discuss below.
It is an amazing journey to trace the history
of Babylon through the ages. We have touched on it in a previous chapter
(Catholicism and Mystery Babylon). First we must understand that
Babylon is the Father of religion and its system of religion has
continued to this day. In order to fully understand we must contrast the
concepts of religion and spirituality. Satan, above all, is a religious
spirit and is responsible for most of today's current "religions".
Religion is a set of beliefs usually involving
devotional and ritual observances, and often containing moral codes
governing the conduct of human affairs. It is a specific fundamental set
of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or
sects; a body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and
practices (Dictionary.com). Therefore religion always has the concept of
a specific set of beliefs, the adhering to this set of laws or
doctrines, devotional or ritualistic beliefs and a moral code governing
the conduct of human affairs. It is flat out man's attempt to figure out
what pleases God and do it in hopes of going to heaven in the end.
Although churches would argue this concept,
religion is man-made. It is man's attempt to determine what God wants,
how He should be related to and worshipped, moral requirements derived
from man's conscience as to what is right or wrong. It always involves a
set of doctrines that must be adhered to if you are to remain in that
group or church. As a result there are thousands of denominations and
religions, all different, each with their own take on what God wants.
There is little or no actual relating to God face to face, asking Him
what He wants. Instead a religion is operated on man's ideas about God,
and God is usually kept at a distance as an unknowable entity.
Spirituality is not definable by a dictionary
or other means. To most it is an abstract quality or described as an
aspect of religion. One must look to the scriptures which are based on
spirituality rather than religion. First of all man is composed of a
triune nature like God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit). Man is composed of
"body, soul and spirit" (1 Thessalonians 5:23). God is a spirit
being. [a woman asked the Lord] "Our fathers worshiped in this
mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men
ought to worship." Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe Me, an hour is
coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship
the Father. "You worship what you do not know; we worship what we
know..."But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will
worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks
to be His worshipers. "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must
worship in spirit and truth" (John 4:20-24). This the difference
between religion and spirituality. Religion worships God in a specific
place, in a specific manner, while true worshippers worship God in the
Spirit in freedom from rules, doctrines or moral codes.
The human soul or body cannot know God. The
only way to know God is through our human spirit. However this part of
our being, in most of us, is buried beneath our souls and bodies and
cannot express the true worship to God He desires. Only when our
"spirits" are liberated can we worship God properly since He is a
spirit. A spiritual man worships God through their human spirits to His
Divine Spirit. Therefore instead of being burdened by rules, regulations
or moral codes, the worship of God makes you free from such
restrictions. What Satan does is try to imitate the worship of God from
a human (soul) level. That is religion. That is the foundation upon
Babylon, the mystery religion, is based.
Paul said speaking of religious ministers in
his time: "For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers,
disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan
disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising
if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness,
whose end will be according to their deeds" (2 Corinthians
11:13-15). Satan's angelic name is Lucifer which means "light bearer" or
"minister of light". He is also known as the "bright morning star". When
he was in heaven he was the brightest and most beautiful of angels but
when he came to earth his light was perverted and is now reflected in
religion the world over. It all began many years ago in the mystical
Kingdom of Babylon. God spends two entire chapters in the book of
Revelation describing its judgments.
With that in mind let us continue to the story
of Babylon. When Adam and Eve were removed from the garden of Eden God
in a sense turned His back on mankind, banishing him from the Paradise
He had created for them. He did not do so as a permanent but left open
the salvation which would eventually come from a Savior Jesus Christ.
Then "Adam had relations with his wife
again; and she gave birth to a son, and named him Seth, for, she said,
"God has appointed me another offspring in place of Abel, for Cain
killed him."To Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name
Enosh. Then men began to call upon the name of the Lord" (Gen
4:25-26). This was actually the beginning of religion as man began to
construct altars and other places of worship in order to reunite
themselves with the Divine.
Actually the world became so corrupt in those
days that God had to destroy it and begin anew with Noah and his family.
The corrupting force was largely the nephilim, fallen angels who came to
earth and corrupted mankind (see The True Story of the Nephilim,
Noah had three sons-Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
Noah had three sons-Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
After the flood, Noah's partial ancestry was: "The sons of Ham (son of
Noah) were Cush and Mizraim and Put and Canaan" (Gen 10:6). As we read
in The Story of the Nephilim (this book) Ham was cursed by Noah
and he and his son Canaan brought forth the nephilim spirit on this side
of the flood. That spirit in a sense "slipped through" the world
destruction. Noah realized this and cursed Ham. Cush, son of Ham, gave
birth to Nimrod.
Genesis says this of Nimrod: "Now Cush
became the father of Nimrod; he became a mighty one on the earth. He was
a mighty hunter before the LORD; therefore it is said, "Like Nimrod a
mighty hunter before the LORD". Nimrod became not a mighty hunter of
game but a mighty hunter of souls. "The beginning of his kingdom
(and religion) was Babel [Babylon] and Erech and Accad and
Calneh, in the land of Shinar. From that land he went forth into
Assyria, and built Nineveh and Rehoboth-Ir and Calah, and Resen between
Nineveh and Calah; that is the great city. Mizraim became the father of
Ludim and Anamim and Lehabim and Naphtuhim and Pathrusim and Casluhim
(from which came the Philistines) and Caphtorim" (Gen. 10:8-14).
In their anger at God for sending the flood
Nimrod and his followers began building a high tower, the tower of
Babel. Nimrod, among other things, was a high priest of the religion of
Babylon. They proposed to build the tower high enough so that God could
not flood them again. They said to one another, "Come, let us make
bricks and burn them thoroughly." And they used brick for stone, and
they used tar for mortar. They said, "Come, let us build for ourselves a
city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for
ourselves a name, [fame] otherwise we will be scattered abroad
over the face of the whole earth."
This was an exercise or imitation of God and
the oneness He wanted with mankind (see John 17). "The LORD came down
to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. The LORD
said, "Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language.
And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to
do will be impossible for them. "Come, let Us [God the trinity]
go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not
understand one another's speech."So the LORD scattered them abroad from
there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the
city. Therefore its name was called Babel, [or Babylon cf. Hebrew
balal to confuse] because there the LORD confused the language of the
whole earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face
of the whole earth" (Gen. 11:3-9).
However God foiling of their plans did not end
the Babylonian religion–the fall of Babylon on that site did not end the
Babylonian religion–because Babylon is a system, a demonic system of
religion. The religion spread to the cities Nimrod founded and through
all the Canaanite nations who settled in what would be the Promised Land
of Israel. Each of the nations then developed their own system of
religion which were all based on satanic worship of polytheistic gods.
That is why Joshua was instructed to conquer all the land, and to kill
all people there, women and children alike. This had to be done as the
Canaanites, were direct descendants of Ham and Canaan, were bearers of
the nephilim spirit. The Canaanite nation continued to exist around
Israel and they were all polytheistic societies worshipping many gods
including Baal, Molech (sacrifice of babies), Queen of Heaven (Diana,
Isis etc.) and thousands of other gods and idols. Against God's warning
Israel began to worship the satanic gods of the surrounding nations
incurring His anger to the point that He eventually exiled Israel to the
Assyrians and Judah to the rising nation of Babylon. Remember both
Assyria and Babylon were offspring of Canaan, the nephilim.
Babylon itself was resurrected as a nation and
eventually conquered Judah and exiled its people for 70 years. What was
behind ancient Babylon? God compared Babylon directly with Satan as
Isaiah prophesied v.(14:12): "How art thou fallen from heaven, O
day-star, son of the morning!"–there–it is Lucifer–the one that fell
out of heaven and the outstanding religious spirit of all time. A
religious spirit, he comes as an angel of light. He transforms his
ministers as ministers of righteousness, as Paul said (above). Isaiah
goes on: (Isaiah 14:12–19, KJV). What is he saying? He is saying that
the motivating force behind Babylon is the king of Babylon, and then he
begins to talk about Lucifer. Is it confusing, or is Babylon Satan
incarnate, the king of Babylon? There you have it–just as Christ is
indwelling Zion and is her King, Lucifer is the king of Babylon.
Isaiah said further of Satan (Babylon):
"How art thou fallen from heaven, O day-star, son of the morning! how
art thou cut down to the ground, that didst lay low the nations! And you
said in your heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne
above the stars of God; and I will sit upon the mount of congregation,
in the uttermost parts of the north; "I will ascend above the
heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.'
"Nevertheless you will be thrust down to Sheol, To the recesses of the
pit. "Those who see you will gaze at you, They will ponder over you,
saying, 'Is this the man who made the earth tremble, Who shook kingdoms,
Who made the world like a wilderness And overthrew its cities, Who did not
allow his prisoners to go home?' (Isaiah 14:12-17).
History tells us that when Babylon was taken
by the Medes and the Persians, the Babylonian hierarchy fled to Pergamos
in Asia Minor. In John's messages to the churches, Pergamos is called
"Satan's seat" (Revelation 2:12-13). The last king of Pergamos, called
the "Supreme Pontiff" of the Babylonian order, bequeathed by law all of
his dominion and power to the Babylonian hierarchy of Rome, because the
Roman empire was coming up strong, with all of their rites, ceremonies,
authorities and dignitaries. Thus, the Roman Caesars became and were
called: "Pontifix Maximus," "Sovereign," "Pontiff," "Supreme Pontiff."
They had these names that were transferred from the old order of the
religion of Babylon and they continued to bear these names, even after
they became Christians nominally in the reign of Augustus. Julius Caesar
was first made the Pontiff [or Emperor] of the Babylonian order in 74
B.C.–he became the Supreme Pontiff of Babylon in 63 B.C. and this meant
that the old Babylonian religion was tied in with the government which
often they worshiped. Nero even tried to continue this, proclaiming
himself God, that he should be worshiped, and he was doing this only
because he had the inheritance by the Babylonian religion that he should
stand as God to the people.
In 376 A.D., the emperor Gratian said it was
wrong for a Christian emperor to be the Supreme Pontiff; and to be a
Christian, he couldn't be the head of devil worshipers at the same time,
so he renounced the title. Then, there was no tribunal before whom the
pagans could be tried who followed the Babylonian religion, so confusion
began. The authority of Babylon was then bestowed upon the Bishop of
Rome, Demasus, in the year 378 A.D.. The "Supreme Pontiff" or the
"Pontifix Maximus," was then the title of the Bishop of Rome. The papal
power then actually came from the devil worship of Babylon. Only three
years later, 381 A.D., they decreed the worship of Mary. By 519 A.D.,
they decreed the observance of Easter and Lent, which were Babylonian,
idolatrous holidays. You see the mixture of government and religion as
these men began to call themselves God and instituted religious
doctrines throughout Rome. When Rome itself was sacked, the Roman Church
took over the "government of Rome for the next 1000 years. That
religious rule proved to be worse than the rule of Rome proper and many
Popes became more corrupt than their Roman predecessors.
The sign of the cross came from the T of the
tower of Babylon, which had been used by the Chaldeans, the Egyptians
and in the Babylonian mysteries for two or three thousand years before
Christianity began using the sign of a cross. The rosary, tonsure,
celibacy, monks, nuns, formerly the vestal virgins of Rome, all came
from Babylonian idolatry. Guides of present day Rome will say, "This
used to be a temple where they worshiped Venus," etc., from which
idolatrous statues were not removed, but given the names of saints.
The Japanese fragment of Babylonian idolatry
is known as Shintoism. Without Christianity ever invading Japan, or
especially Tibet, there was the purest form of Babylonian idolatry. When
Babylonian soldiers took this worship to Tibet at the fall of Babylon,
they carried the "fifteen points." No missionary was ever allowed into
Tibet, and yet they have holy water, incense, worship of the virgin and
child, monks, nuns, monasteries and priestly vestments. Shintoism, Roman
Catholicism and Babylonianism are alike: image worship, dead tongues and
rituals, candles and incense, masses for the dead, counting beads, vain
repetitions in prayer, celibacy of the clergy, nuns, relic worship,
systems of merit by penance, the priesthood cures, processions, worship
of saints, flowers and Mary worship (the counterpart in Shintoism is the
worship of the goddess of mercy), etc..
Back in history to the time of Nimrod,
Semiramis, or Ashteroth, whose husband Nimrod was tragically killed,
became the sole queen over Babylon and began one of the most sadistic
reigns in the history of the world. In her widowhood, beyond being
satisfied, her favorite pattern was to find a male, force intercourse,
castrate and murder him. She was the "black widow" of ancient history.
She claimed to have brought forth, as a virgin, a son miraculously, that
is, without a human father, and called him Tammuz. The worship of Tammuz
is emphasized in the Bible, especially in the eighth chapter of Ezekiel
(Ezekiel 8:14). He was killed by a wild boar while hunting. There were
forty days of fasting and weeping, which we now call Lent; followed by
Easter, which was originally a feast of Ishtar. Two aspects of the
character of Ishtar were prominent: eroticism and belligerence. She was
celebrated as a goddess of war, but at the same time she was vitally
involved in the realm of sexuality and fecundity. When she descends to
the nether world, mating and procreation cease on earth. Tammuz was
supposedly resurrected, and the chicken, the egg, the bunny, his
favorite pets, became symbols of his resurrection. Cakes were baked and
there was a great feast. This was all the result of Semiramis, or
Ashteroth, the "queen of heaven." "Queen of heaven" is the exact title
later conferred by the Roman Catholics on Mary. The virgin queen that
was worshiped in Isaiah 47 is identical with Mary worship that came
Christmas was the birthday of the sun god. The
favorite tree of Tammuz was the evergreen. Jeremiah 10 tells how they
cut the tree from the forest and decked it. This is the origin of the
present day "Christmas tree."
Do you realize how many things we have in
Christianity today that are nothing more than the corruptions of the
ancient Babylonian religion? (see Catholism and Mystery Babylon
this book). Satan is the power of this mystical Babylon.
This is the prophecy in Revelation 18:1–5 that
heralds the fall of Babylon: "After these things I saw another angel
coming down out of heaven, having great authority; and the earth was
lightened with his glory. And he cried with a mighty voice, saying,
Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, and is become a habitation of
demons, and a hold of every unclean spirit, and a hold of every unclean
and hateful bird. For by the wine of the wrath of her fornication all
the nations are fallen; and the kings of the earth committed fornication
with her, and the merchants of the earth waxed rich by the power of her
wantonness. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come forth,
my people, out of her, that ye have no fellowship with her sins, and
that ye receive not of her plagues: for her sins have reached even unto
heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities".
There are people that are afloat from the
churches where God is saying, "Come out of them, My people. John said:
"I heard another voice from heaven, saying, "Come out of her, my
people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her
plagues; for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has
remembered her iniquities. "Pay her back even as she has paid, and give
back to her double according to her deeds; in the cup which she has
mixed, mix twice as much for her. "To the degree that she glorified
herself and lived sensuously, to the same degree give her torment and
mourning; for she says in her heart, 'I SIT as A QUEEN AND I AM NOT A
WIDOW, and will never see mourning.' "For this reason in one day her
plagues will come, pestilence and mourning and famine, and she will be
burned up with fire; for the Lord God who judges her is strong"
And: "Render unto her even as she rendered,
and double unto her the double according to her works" (Revelation
18:6a). There is a double portion prophesied in the Old Testament
applicable to God's people: "Instead of your shame ye shall have
double;" (Isaiah 61:7a). God will give a double portion to those of
Zion that return, and God also says that He will give a double portion
of judgment to Babylon. This is the day of the double portion. God will
double up the judgment on the Babylonian system and bring it down.
"And the kings of the earth, who committed
fornication and lived wantonly with her, shall weep and wail over her,
when they look upon the smoke of her burning, standing afar off for the
fear of her torment, saying, Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the
strong city! for in one hour is thy judgment come"
(Revelation 18:9–10). So it is with the political forces. Organized
Christianity has been a great political force, whether it was in the
middle ages or in some refined form of it now. The religious systems and
political powers work closely together.
Then we come to the commercial enterprises,
the merchants that weep and mourn. "And the merchants of the earth
weep and mourn over her, for no man buy their merchandise any more;
merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stone, and pearls, and
fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet; and all your wood, and
every vessel of ivory, and every vessel made of most precious wood, and
of brass, and iron, and marble; and cinnamon, and spice, and incense,
and ointment, and frankincense and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and
wheat, and cattle, and sheep; and merchandise of horses and chariots and
slaves; and souls of men" (Revelation 18:11–13). What would happen
to businesses if organized religion was brought to an end? They would
begin to mourn. If it were not for Easter and Christmas sales and the
system of gifts, the margin of profit in many businesses would be
Revelation 18:20 says: "Rejoice over her,
thou heaven, and ye saints, and ye apostles, and ye prophets; for God
hath judged your judgment on her". This means that when the fall of
Babylon comes, it will be the apostles and prophets, the saints of God
and all of the heavenly hosts joining in that will bring forth the
judgment upon Babylon and God will bring it down in one hour. God hath
brought forth. You must understand–it will not happen sovereignly. God's
people on earth bring it forth. All denominational systems have followed
what the Bible calls the harlot system–committing fornication with the
kings of the earth to get security, so they'll not be persecuted–an
exchange that goes on back and forth.
What about the true church? Rejoice and be
glad–for in the 19th chapter of Revelation it says: "After these
things I heard as it were a great voice of a great multitude in heaven,
saying, Hallelujah; Salvation, and glory, and power, belong to our God:
for true and righteous are his judgments; for he hath judged the great
harlot, her that corrupted the earth with her fornication, and he hath
avenged the blood of his servants at her hand" Revelation 19:1–2.
Then, what is the great cry? "Let us rejoice and be exceeding glad,
and let us give the glory unto him: for the marriage of the Lamb is
come, and his wife hath made herself ready. There are two women in
Revelation, the false church is called the harlot, and the true church
is called the bride of Jesus Christ, and she is clothed with fine linen,
clean and white. And it was given unto her that she should array herself
in fine linen, bright and pure: for the fine linen is the righteous acts
of the saints" (Verses 7, 8).
God looks upon commercial and political
religion as nothing more than spiritual harlotry. God did not raise us
up to be political or economic powers. God raised us up to be the bride
of Jesus Christ. War is declared, because the god of Babylon is Satan,
but the Head of Zion is the Lord Jesus Christ. We too will stand in this
glorious road of restoration and cry to Babylon, "Come out of her, O
God's people! Don't be a partaker of her sins or of her judgments. Come
out of her as quickly as you can." There is an ominous threat of
judgment, because judgment is returning to the apostles and the
prophets. The only way of power is the way of restoration. The only way
of coming into what God has for you is to forsake "spending your
money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which
satisfies not" (Isaiah 55:2, KJV).
Stevens, John Robert: This
Week, Volume I (1970). North Hollywood, CA. : Living Word
Publications, 1980, P. 333.
The Song of Songs or Song of Solomon
The Song of Solomon (hereafter Song) is
certainly the most poignant expression of love in the entire Bible. It
portrays love in its most intense and erotic sense. God is love. This is
Him opening His heart and showing us how He wishes us to perceive that
love. This book tells us some of what it is like to "love the Lord your
God with all your heart, mind and strength", the greatest of all the
There are many interpretations of the meaning
of the cryptically worded book, full of symbolism, inferences and
mysticism. Without going into detail, all agree that the book is about
true love. Applicable to all ages, we here will provide some
understanding of the Book and how it is applicable to us today.
In Revelation 19:7-9 it is said "Let us
rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the
Lamb has come and His bride [wife] has made herself ready."
It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and
clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints [holy
ones]. Then he said to me, "Write, 'Blessed are those who are invited
to the marriage supper of the Lamb.' " And he said to me, "These are
true words of God."
This scripture likens our ultimate perfection
as Sons of God to a marriage, which is the likely result of the pursuing
of the lovers depicted in Song. And isn't our relationship with God a
pursuit? We love Him, we pursue Him. He loves us, He pursues us. Both
are lovesick, as are we, and God is longing for that perfect
relationship, culminating in the full expression of love through
intimacy. Both lovers are driven to obtain this full expression of their
love for each other and will not be deterred.
In the first chapter of Song, it appears as if
the lovers are seeing each other from afar but desiring each other. The
Bride tells of her life of service to her family (tending the vineyards)
but she notes she has come to the point she wants something real for
herself. The Bridegroom also thinks how he will adorn her when they come
together, and how he sees her now: "Your cheeks are lovely with
ornaments, Your neck with strings of beads. We will make for you
ornaments of gold with beads of silver" (Song 1:10-11). And: "How
beautiful you are, my darling, How beautiful you are! Your eyes are like
doves" (v.15). This recognition of beauty from afar is reflective of
the scripture: "We love, because He first loved us" (1 John
Chapter 2 focuses on the pursuit. Our lives
are a pursuit after God. God plays hide and seek with us, and we with
Him but our human nature seems to hide us from Him. Yet the lovers
remain in pursuit. As a result, unfolding day by day, is our
understanding and appreciation for Him; and He rejoices in what we are
becoming, His Bride, His beautiful creation of unending love. The Bride
"Listen! My beloved!
Behold, he is coming,
Climbing on the mountains,
Leaping on the hills!
"My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag.
Behold, he is standing behind our wall,
He is looking through the windows,
He is peering through the lattice.
"My beloved responded and said to me,
'Arise, my darling, my beautiful one,
And come along.
'For behold, the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone.
'The flowers have already appeared in the land;"
The Bridegroom responds:
"O my dove, in the clefts of the rock,
In the secret place of the steep pathway,
Let me see your form [appearance],
Let me hear your voice;
For your voice is sweet,
And your form is lovely."
In the third chapter, the Bride experiences
what we all have felt at one time of another: We can't find our love, he
must be gone. She dreams:
"On my bed night after night
I sought him Whom my soul loves;
I sought him but did not find him.
I must arise now and go about the city;
In the streets and in the squares
I must seek him whom my soul loves.'
I sought him but did not find him.
"The watchmen who make the rounds in the city found me,
And I said, 'Have you seen him whom my soul loves?'
"Scarcely had I left them."
But alas the Bridegroom is coming in all his
"What is this coming up from the wilderness
Like columns of smoke,
Perfumed with myrrh and frankincense,
With all scented powders of the merchant?
"Behold, it is the traveling couch of Solomon;
Sixty mighty men around it,
Of the mighty men of Israel.
"All of them are wielders of the sword,
Expert in war;
Each man has his sword at his side,
Guarding against the terrors of the night...
"Go forth, O daughters of Zion,
And gaze on King Solomon with the crown
With which his mother has crowned him
On the day of his wedding,
And on the day of his gladness of heart."
(Song 3:6-8, 11)
Just when it seems He has left us, then He
comes with His great army, in splendor and glory, with men skilled at
war, to deliver us, to be with us. The Bridegroom arrives in all his
splendor and is astonished when sees his bride:
"How beautiful you are, my darling,
How beautiful you are!"
"Your lips are like a scarlet thread,
And your mouth is lovely.
Your temples are like a slice of a pomegranate
Behind your veil
"Your two breasts are like two fawns,
Twins of a gazelle
Which feed among the lilies.
"Until the cool of the day
And there is no blemish in you."
[The Lamb of God is pictured as the lamb without blemish; also
the Old Testament offerings had to be an animal without blemish].
"How beautiful is your love, my sister, my
How much better is your love than wine,
And the fragrance of your oils
Than all kinds of spices!
"Your lips, my bride, drip honey;
Honey and milk are under your tongue,
And the fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon."
The Bride counters with:
"Awake, O north wind,
And come, wind of the south;
Make my garden breathe out fragrance,
Let its spices be wafted abroad.
May my beloved come into his garden
And eat its choice fruits!"
Once again, when fulfillment seems certain,
the Bride experiences the terrors of separation. Isn't it true that God
will meet you overwhelmingly one day, and the next day He seems to be
The Bride mourns:
"I was asleep but my heart was awake.
A voice! My beloved was knocking:
'Open to me, my sister, my darling,
"I have taken off my dress,
How can I put it on again?
I have washed my feet,
How can I dirty them again?
"My beloved extended his hand through the opening,
And my feelings were aroused for him.
"I arose to open to my beloved;
And my hands dripped with myrrh,
And my fingers with liquid myrrh,
On the handles of the bolt.
"I opened to my beloved,
But my beloved had turned away and had gone!
My heart went out to him as he spoke.
I searched for him but I did not find him;
I called him but he did not answer me.
"The watchmen who make the rounds in the city found me,
They struck me and wounded me;
The guardsmen of the walls took away my shawl from me...I am lovesick."
Isn't it true that when we seem to be without
our love that not only do we experience the loss but we are persecuted,
sometimes by friends and well wishers (see the Book of Job). They will
gainsay us and ask us where our faith is now? But our love drives us on,
no matter what the price.
As always in true love, the lovers reunite and
praise each other for their beauty and quality of spirit. There is one
verse that stands out and applies to us today.
"Who is this coming up from the wilderness
Leaning on her beloved?"
Likewise we come up out of the great wilderness of torment, testing,
discipline, separation, longing, seeking and tribulation. But we don't
get out alone; we come leaning on the arm of our beloved the Lord.
Love itself is described beautifully in Song
"Put me like a seal [signet] over your heart,
Like a seal on your arm.
For love is as strong as death,
Jealousy is as severe as Sheol;
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
The very flame of the LORD.
"Many waters cannot quench love,
Nor will rivers overflow it;
If a man were to give all the riches of his house for love,
It would be utterly despised."
Often we don't see the love the Lord has for
us. We know we love Him but aren't sure He loves us back. He seems to
test and discipline us to the point that we wish we had never met Him.
Our love wanes with the pressures of everyday life. The scripture says
"the love of many will wax cold". We wait and wait for the
fulfillment of the promises but they always seem delayed.
The Song of Solomon should be an encouragement
to us. It reveals an aspect of God's love we often don't see. It is NOT
IMPERSONAL; it is PERSONAL and erotically real. It is God opening His
heart and saying "This is what love in its fulfillment is like".
This is the Kingdom of God you seek. This is what you shall have for
eternity. When we get to the point we don't know what we are seeking
anymore, turn to the Song of Songs, which means in Hebrew the "Best
of the Songs".
The First Epistle of John - A Study of Love and the Word
John was one of the original 12 Disciples of
Christ and following Christ's death founded and oversaw many churches in
Italy, Macedonia and Asia. He wrote three epistles: 1 John 1; 2 John and
3 John. He also penned the Gospel of John which is one of the four
gospels detailing the life of Christ, along with Matthew, Mark and Luke.
This John, by the weight of opinion, also wrote the Book of Revelation.
He was one of the original 12 disciples, and one of the closest to the
Lord. He is called John the Beloved, the disciple who leaned on the
breast of the Lord. His Gospel, Epistles and the Book of Revelation were
written to those churches and contain deep, mystical truths of Christ
not found elsewhere in the New Testament. We will focus here on the
Epistle of 1 John.
John wrote this epistle both to comfort and
increase the faith of the Christians who considered John to be their
Father in the Gospel. He also wrote it to expose false prophets,
including Gnostics, who did not believe in Christ's resurrection and had
doctrines which in his view did not follow Christ's teaching.
First, John proclaims that the life and the
Word were manifested on earth. He acknowledges that he has seen and
bears witness to that Word and thus believers have fellowship with Him
(1 John 1:1-4). Jesus Christ, as the Son of God, was the Word of God or
"logos" in Greek. manifested in human form-the perfect combination of
God and man.
In Chapter 1, John describes this appearance
of the Christ, with whom he knew personally and walked with for 3 ½ years.
More than the man John focuses on who Christ really was from a
He says this of the Lord Jesus Christ: "What
was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our
eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the
Word of Life–and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify
and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was
manifested to us–what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so
that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is
with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. These things we write,
so that our joy may be made complete" (1 John 1:1-40.
This similar to what this same John wrote in
his Gospel: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God. He [Christ the Word] was in the beginning with
God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing
came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life
was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness
did not comprehend it" (John 1:1-5).
Christ came as the Messiah to forgive the sins
of all mankind. Thus, if we believe we are not sinners then there was no
purpose for Christ to come and forgive us of sin. The truth is that "all
have sinned and fall short of the grace of God" (Romans 3:23). John also
emphasizes forgiveness. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and
righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all
unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Also he says: "If we say that we have not
sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us" (1 Jn 1:110).
In Chapter 2 John makes the following points:
"The one who says he is in the light yet hates his brother is in the
darkness...and walks in the darkness and does not know where he is going
because the darkness has blinded his eyes" (v. 8-11). Jesus said the
greatest commandments were to love God and love our brother as ourselves
(Matthew 12: 29-31). John asks "How can we say we love God who we
haven't seen and not love our brother who we have seen?"
John goes on to describe how we love God with
a single-minded focus. "Do not love the world nor the things in the
world...For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of
the eyes and the boastful pride of life is not from the Father but is
from the world" (v. 15-16). "the world and its lusts are passing away
but the one who does the will of God lives forever" (v.17).
All the world has been placed in a state of
futility, from the fall of Adam and Eve until now. Therefore ALL that is
in the world is not from the Father. Futility (vanity in the KJV) is
variously defined as:" ineffectiveness, uselessness, trifling,
unimportant and incapable of producing any result" (Webster's
Dictionary). When man fell, God separated Himself from man. Therefore,
since nothing in the world manifests God, it is useless.
In (verse 18-19, 22) John speaks of the
antichrist, the only place the word antichrist appears in the Bible,
except in 2 John. Most Christians today place the antichrist as
appearing in the end time as a single figure. However John says that
there were already antichrists in the world, nearly 2000 years ago.
(consensus is he wrote this epistle in about 90 C.E. (A.D.). "Children,
it is the last hour and just as you have heard anti-Christ is coming
even now many anti-Christs have appeared". The antichrist is "Who is the
liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the
antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies
the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the
Unfortunately, most of the world's large
religions do not acknowledge Christ as the Son of God (Islam, Buddhism,
etc). They say He was a great man, a wise sage, a good man but not the
Son of God. Therefore the leaders and originators of these religions are
false prophets and anti-Christs, according to John. The Christian world,
including the recent Pope, is advocating a tolerance for those
anti-Christ religions. However, what fellowship has light with darkness
(2 Corinthians 6:14).
The real battle here is that Jesus Christ came
to open the door for many Sons, like Christ, to be manifested. For it
was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all
things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their
salvation through sufferings. (Hebrews 2:10). The antichrist was
defeated by Jesus at His resurrection. But today the antichrist spirit
wars to block Jesus coming to birth in His many membered body and has
been trying to do this since the time of John.
In Verse 2:25 John said: "This is the promise
He Himself made to us: eternal life...abide [live] in Him, so that when
He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame
at His coming" (v.28). Adam and Eve shrunk away in shame from the Lord
after they sinned. So we, without God, shrink away because we are
somehow innately aware of our sin. Those who are Christ's have no need
of shame because they have been forgiven. There is no condemnation for
those who are in Christ (Romans 8:1). The biggest deception of Satan is
to challenge who we are now in becoming: Sons of God with the same
nature as Jesus. The battle takes place in our mind as we must be
steadfast in our knowing who we are and what we were sent to do.
In Chapter 3, John explains the love of God
and His grace:
"See how great a love the Father has bestowed
on us that we would be called the children [Sons] of God...it has not
appeared yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be
like Him for we shall see Him as He is" (3:1-2). Imagine. If we walk
with God we will become "LIKE HIM"!
"But now Christ has been raised from the dead,
the first fruits of those who are asleep... But each in his own order:
Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's at His
coming. (1 Corinthians 15:20-23). Again: "See how great a love the
Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and
such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did
not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not
appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will
be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is" (1 John 3:1-2).
It is important that we realize this doesn't
occur only after we die and "go to Heaven". Christ wants the will of God
to be done and the Kingdom to come here on earth (Matthew 6:10). Some
will not die but walk right into the Kingdom. "For the Son of Man will
come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward
each according to his works. Assuredly, I say to you, there are some
standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man
coming in His kingdom" (Matthew 16:27-28). The very so called "Lord's
prayer" urges us to pray that God desires His will be done on earth as
well as heaven. The coming Kingdom will contain no distinction or
In chapter 3 John talks about love. And "this
is the commandment that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ
and love one another" (v.23). In the New Testament (the New Covenant in
His blood) the requirement to obey the former Mosaic Law to the letter
is done away with. Our righteousness is now obtained by grace through
faith. This is the love of God who pours out His love on the righteous
and unrighteous alike, for free. Our commandment now is to believe and
John makes a clear distinction between those
of evil and the righteous. "Little children, make sure no one deceives
you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is
righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has
sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to
destroy the works of the devil. No one who is born of God practices sin,
because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of
God. By this the children of God and the children of the devil are
obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor
the one who does not love his brother."Beloved, if our heart does not
condemn us, we have confidence before [towards) God; and whatever we ask
we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things
that are pleasing in His sight. This is His commandment, that we believe
in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He
commanded us" (3:21-23).
Christ came to destroy the works of the devil,
the source of all evil. The righteous practice only righteousness as
they have obtained this heart of righteousness from God by grace. The
evil practice the will of Satan.
In Chapter 4 John tells us to test the spirits
to see which are from God because many false prophets were in the world
then (and now). How do we know? "...every spirit that confesses that
Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that
does not [so confess] is not from God; this is the spirit of the
antichrist" (v. 1-3). "You are from God...because greater is He who is
in you than he who is in the world" (v. 4). There is literally no other
religion who believe that Christ was and is the Son of God.
The victory for believers is actually already
won over Satan and the evil forces. When Christ died and was
resurrected, He took with Him all the sin of the world. It is up to us
to appropriate this victory and manifest it in the earth. Satan can now
only delay the inevitable. His raging has delayed the fulfillment for
2000 years. Now we must rise up and manifest his defeat.
The theme of love is prevalent in the entire
epistle. ..."let us love one another for love is from God; and everyone
who loves is born of God and knows God" (v. 7). And in verse 15&19 he
says: "God is love...we love Him because He first loved us".
God loved us when we were ungodly, unbelieving
and sinners. He loved us as much as He does now that we have been saved.
We now who have salvation should never doubt God's love for us. Because
of the shame, accepting this fact, is one of the most difficult tasks we
have as Christians. Yet it is essential. How can we love our brother or
God if we do not love ourselves?
God is love. His very nature IS LOVE. Perfect
love casts out all our fears. "There is no fear in love; but perfect
love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who
fears is not perfected in love. (4:18). "For now we see in a mirror
dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know
fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love,
abide these three; but the greatest of these is love" (1 Corinthians
13:12-13). Paul describes what love is in Chapter 13:1-11. It is not
works. Even if we give our bodies to be burned but don't have love it
profits us nothing.
In Chapter 5 is written: "For this is the love
of God that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not
burdensome. For whoever is born of God overcomes the world...Who is the
one who overcomes the world but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of
God" (vs. 1-5). "And the testimony is this, that God has given us
eternal life and this life is in the Son" (v. 11) (Jesus said "I am the
way, the truth and the life"). "He who has the Son has life; he who does
not have the Son does not have life" (v. 12).
You see, Christ already won the victory. All
we need do is believe that and appropriate all that means in our lives.
Faith is not burdensome, like the draconian Laws of religion and the Old
Testament. We do not have to work for it; it is by grace, unmerited
favor. God considers our human works as filthy rags anyway (Isaiah
64:6). We cannot work up righteousness in ourselves. It must come from
God. This is so He is glorified, not us; if we were able to do the will
of God in ourselves we would take the credit and the coming of Christ
would have been useless.
So from one of the deepest men of God in the
Bible, we remain with very simple principles. Love God, love one
another, beware of false prophets, do not love the passing scene of the
world and believe that Christ is the risen Son of God.
Was America Founded As a Christian Nation?
This question is one of the most hotly debated
topics in the Christian community as well as within the confines of
government. Although the resolution of the argument has little effect on
the conduct of either the church in America or the government, the
examination of this question becomes more philosophical that
substantive. There can be no question that Christian principles were
applied and influenced the formation of our government. On the other
hand the intent of the constitution seems to imply that America was
seeking a secular government separated from religious influence or scope
of government control.
There are a vast number of writings which
support the position that America was founded a Christian nation. The
U.S. Supreme Court has spoken on the subject on February 29, 1892 in the
case of Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States, (143 US 457–458,
465–471, 36 L ed 226). After a lengthy conversation on the subject,
examining various legislative and common law approaches to the question
they conclude as follows: "Religion, morality, and knowledge [are]
necessary to good government, the preservation of liberty, and the
happiness of mankind. A commentary on the 1892 case Church of the Holy
Trinity v. United States, summarized: Our laws and our institutions must
necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of
mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this sense
and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are
In 1911, at a Denver rally, Governor [later
President] Woodrow Wilson remarked: "A nation which does not remember
what it was yesterday, does not know what it is today, nor what it is
trying to do. We are trying to do a futile thing if we do not know where
we came from or what we have been about ...The Bible ... is the one supreme
source of revelation of the meaning of life, the nature of God and
spiritual nature and needs of men. It is the only guide of life which
really leads the spirit in the way of peace and salvation. America was
born a Christian nation. America was born to exemplify that devotion to
the elements of righteousness which are derived from the revelations of
On October 12, 1816, John Jay, Supreme Court
Justice, admonished: "Providence has given to our people the choice
of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and
interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for
On February 22, 1812, to the Washington
Society of Alexandria, Francis Scott Key stated: "The patriot who
feels himself in the service of God, who acknowledges Him in all his
ways, has the promise of Almighty direction, and will find His Word in
his greatest darkness, 'a lantern to his feet and a lamp unto his
paths'. ... He will therefore seek to establish for his country in the
eyes of the world, such a character as shall make her not unworthy of
the name of a Christian nation".
In writing to Pope Pius XII, in 1947,
President Truman said of America: "This is a Christian nation".
New York Supreme Court (cited in 1905) by Supreme Court Justice David
Josiah Brewer in his lecture, entitled "The United States a Christian
Nation," rendered its opinion in the case of Lindenmuller v. The
People, 33 Barbour, 561, stating: "Christianity ... is in fact, and
ever has been, the religion of the people. This fact is everywhere
prominent in all our civil and political history, and has been, from the
first, recognized and acted upon by the people, as well as by
constitutional conventions, by legislatures and by courts of justice".
On Tuesday, December 6, 1825, in his First
Annual Message to Congress, President John Quincy Adams expressed:
"In taking a general survey of the concerns of our beloved country, with
reference to subjects interesting to the common welfare, the first
sentiment which impresses itself upon the mind is of gratitude to the
Omnipotent Disposer of All Good for the continuance of the signal
blessings of His providence, and especially for that health which to an
unusual extent has prevailed within our borders, and for that abundance
which in the vicissitudes of the seasons has been scattered with
profusion over the land. Nor ought we less to ascribe to Him the glory
that we are permitted to enjoy the bounties of His hand in peace and
tranquility–in peace with all other nations of the earth, in tranquility
among ourselves. There has, indeed, rarely been a period in the history
of civilized man in which the general condition of the Christian nations
has been marked so extensively by peace and prosperity?. ...
Morris, Benjamin Franklin (1810–1867) was an
American historian. He wrote many insightful works, including: Memorial
Record of the Nation's Tribute to Abraham Lincoln, 1865; The Life of
Thomas Morris–Pioneer and Long a Legislator of Ohio, and U.S. senator
from 1833 to 1839, 1856; Historical Sketch of Rising Sun, Indiana, and
the Presbyterian Church–A Fortieth Anniversary Discourse, delivered
Sept. 15, 1856, 1858; and The Christian Life and Character of the Civil
Institutions of the United States–developed in the Official and
Historical Annals of the Republic, in 1864, in which he expounded in
part: "This is a Christian nation, first in name, and secondly
because of the many and mighty elements of a pure Christianity which
have given it character and shaped its destiny from the beginning. It is
pre-eminently the land of the Bible, of the Christian Church, and of the
Christian Sabbath. ... The chief security and glory of the United States
of America has been, is now, and will be forever, the prevalence and
domination of the Christian Faith".
The Declaration of Independence states in
relevant part: "When, in the course of human events, it becomes
necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have
connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the
earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of
nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind
requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the
separation". ..."We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are
created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain
unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit
The Constitution itself is silent on the issue
but the First Amendment to the Constitution states: "Amendment I:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or
prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of
speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to
assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances".
Armed thus with these and other statements by
numerous influential men, State governments and even the U.S. Supreme
Court, conclude that indeed America was founded as a Christian Nation.
The inscription "In God We Trust" appears on our currency. Our
pledge to our flag contains the words: "One nation under God"
which has remained despite constitutional challenge.
The Book: "The Light and the Glory" (by
Peter Marshall, Jr and David Manuel, Jr., (1977) Fleming H. Revell a
division of Baker House Co.) is a strong in its advocacy that America is
a Christian as they trace the history of the New World from Columbus, a
devout Christian, to the infusion of Christian beliefs in the New World.
To begin with, Christopher Columbus, the
supposed discoverer of America in the late 1400s, was a Christian. This
is confirmed by actual entries in his log book that indicated same. He
felt that God had chosen him to carry the light of the gospel to other
peoples and other nations to the Pilgrims and similar Christian
settlements. The Pilgrims, refugees from England and the English state
church, arrived on the Mayflower. They suffered extreme hardship, but
the thread of Christianity pervaded through their starvation and
hardship, however, as evidenced in their writings. The point to the
information recited above and more to come to their "inescapable
It cannot be argued that the Christian
influence in America has not been considerable but the question remains:
"Was America founded as a Christian or secular nation?"
Opponents present the following arguments
against the Christian nation supposition. "Many Religious Right
activists have attempted to rewrite history by asserting that the United
States government derived from Christian foundations, that our Founding
Fathers originally aimed for a Christian nation. This idea simply does
not hold to the historical evidence. Of course many Americans did
practice Christianity, but so also did many believe in deistic
philosophy. Indeed, most of our influential Founding Fathers, although
they respected the rights of other religionists, held to deism and
Freemasonry tenets rather than to Christianity"(The Government of
the United States of America is not, in any sense founded on the
Christian religion, by Jim Walker).
There is no question that Freemasonry concepts
were influential in the actions of the founding Fathers. A great
percentage of both the signers of the Declaration of independence and
the Constitution were active Freemasons. Freemasonry is not Christian
and is more of a deistic philosophy. Some of the language of both the
declaration and the Constitution had Freemasonry language in them word
Opponents discount proponent's reliance on the
references to God in the Declaration of Independence, stating that the
declaration was never made law. They point to the inferential language
that "Please note that the Declaration says nothing about our rights
secured by Christianity" Instead it infers that "Governments are
instituted among men."
Moreover, the mentioning of God in the
Declaration does not describe the personal God of Christianity. Thomas
Jefferson, who held deist beliefs, wrote the majority of the
Declaration. The Declaration describes "the Laws of Nature and of
Nature's God." This nature's view of God agrees with deist
philosophy and might even appeal to those of pantheistical beliefs, but
any attempt to use the Declaration as a support for Christianity will
fail for this reason alone.
Then of course there is the "Treaty of
Tripoli" in which the U.S. government denies any religious affiliation
or adherence to same. Unlike most governments of the past, the American
Founding Fathers set up a government divorced from any religion. Their
establishment of a secular government did not require a reflection to
themselves of its origin; they knew this as a ubiquitous unspoken given.
However, as the United States delved into international affairs, few
foreign nations knew about the intentions of the U.S. For this reason,
an insight from a little known but legal document written in the late
1700s explicitly reveals the secular nature of the U.S. government to a
foreign nation. Officially called the "Treaty of peace and friendship
between the United States of America and the Bey and Subjects of
Tripoli, of Barbary," although most refer to it as simply the "Treaty of
Tripoli". In Article 11, it states:
"As the Government of the United States of
America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it
has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or
tranquility, of Musselmen; and as the said States never have entered
into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is
declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions
shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the
two countries." One must wonder if politics entered into this bold
but there it is in the law of the U.S.
Another argument in opposition involves the
common law. Common law (also known as case law or precedent) is law
developed by judges through decisions of courts and similar tribunals
rather than through legislative statutes or executive branch action. An
extended argument concludes that the common law has no Christian basis
inherent in it. As common law has been used extensively in America's
legal system, opponents cite that a large part of our government, the
law, has no Christian basis. Although a statement by Blackstone, an
eminent authority on common law in England, from which our system is
derived, says the opposite. He said: 7"Blackstone repeats, in the
words of Sir Matthew Hale, that 'Christianity is part of the laws of
England,' citing Ventris and Strange ubi surpa. 4. Blackst. 59. Lord
Mansfield qualifies it a little by saying that 'The essential principles
of revealed religion are part of the common law" in the case of the
Chamberlain of London v. Evans, 176. But he cites no authority, and
leaves us at our peril to find out what, in the opinion of the judge,
and according to the measure of his foot or his faith, are those
essential principles of revealed religion obligatory on us as a part of
the common law." But there is no extended string in the case law
expanding on this position and no real foundational authority for these
statements (The Government of the United States of America is not, in
any sense founded on the Christian religion, by Jim Walker, 1997,
This position is strengthened by statements of
Thomas Jefferson, a lawyer, writer of the Declaration of Independence
and co-author of the Constitution, who writes: "if any one chooses to
build a doctrine on any law of that period, supposed to have been lost,
it is incumbent on him to prove it to have existed, and what were its
contents. These were so far alterations of the common law, and became
themselves a part of it. But none of these adopt Christianity as a part
of the common law. If, therefore, from the settlement of the Saxons to
the Introduction of Christianity among them, that system of religion
could not be a part of the common law, because they were not yet
Christians, and if, having their laws from that period to the close of
the common law, we are all able to find among them no such act of
adoption, we may safely affirm (though contradicted by all the judges
and writers on earth) that Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part
of the common law."
The opposition's position boils down to a
theory that religious leaders have attempted to exert their influence on
government to declare America as a Christian nation. (The Christian
Nation Myth, by Farrell Till). He reinforces the view that the
Founding Fathers were primarily deists, not Christian. Deism in
religious philosophy is the belief that reason and observation of the
natural world, without the need for organized religion, can determine
that the universe is the product of an all-powerful creator. According
to deists, the creator does not intervene in human affairs or suspend
the natural laws of the universe. Deists typically reject supernatural
events such as prophecy and miracles, tending instead to assert that a
god (or "the Supreme Architect") does not alter the universe by
intervening in it. This idea is also known as the "Clockwork universe
theory", in which a god designs and builds the universe, but steps aside
to let it run on its own. It does not recognize Christ as the
resurrected Son of God. Deism is the philosophy espoused by the
Freemasons, who, as we noted before, exerted considerable influence on
the formation of our government.
So, with that information in hand, we must
make a conclusion. Again, the argument itself is academic and has no
real effect on how the government or our everyday lives are conducted.
Our government gives its citizens unlimited freedom to practice any
religion they see fir, without government interference. Thousands of
religions are practiced within our borders and our immigration policy
has been open door since the beginning. If America is to be considered a
Christian nation it must be contrasted with other nations where religion
is the basis of their government and secular and religion are so
intertwined it is impossible to separate them. Islamic nations are an
example where they really are religious based nations, and Islamic law
is written into the fabric of their government. We don't have that here
as religion really plays no part in our secular government, scientific
pursuits, health care, or any of our day to day pursuits.
The First Amendment instead builds an
impenetrable wall between the religious and the secular. Religions are
free to practice as they wish and the government cannot interfere. From
a purely legal standpoint the United States, as a government, is purely
secular with no interference from the religious, although Christian
right movements, with their massive voting bloc, attempt to influence
the government towards the religious with some success. However the
government itself remains secular.
There can be no question that Christian
principles guided the formation of our government. Nor can there be a
question that God has blessed this nation and made it a vehicle for His
use over the past 300 years. Christian or not, the influence of God and
Jesus Christ are evident in the progression of our democratic form of
government, working behind the scenes. Simply the fact that American won
the Revolutionary War, against the greatest power on earth at the time,
reveals God behind the scenes orchestrating what amounts to a miracle.
The fact that America was able to expand "from sea to shining sea", in a
relative short period of time, is a miracle. That God has been able to
work through decidedly imperfect people to pull this off is nothing
short of astounding. But God works from an unseen spirit realm causing
results on the earth, whether we recognize His hand or not. God has used
the United States, at least up until the last 30-40 years, to accomplish
His will on the earth.
But from a purely earthly standpoint, America
is not overtly a Christian nation and God probably set it up that way
for a reason. Throughout the last 2000 years, Rome and later the Roman
Church, intermingled government with religion with disastrous results.
Both branches benefited financially at the expense of the people.
Religion, with its propensity to rule by fear, is destructive to a
secular government whose ability to rule the people effectively is
hampered by the fear generated by religion. As America was set up as a
secular nation, it was immune to the conflicting ideologies of religion,
which would have done nothing more that inject their own confusion to a
government trying to get a job done.
Yet among all nations we, as Christians, are
most blessed in America. The progression of "religion" and Christianity
has been able to function with few or no restraints. America was raised
up by God to assist in bringing the Kingdom of God into the earth. As a
wise man once said "I am believing God for the Stars and Stripes to
be waving over the land when the Kingdom is established in the earth. I
think we should pray and contend for that everyday" (Stevens, John
Robert: This Week, Volume V (1974). North Hollywood, CA. : Living
Word Publications, 1982, P. 647).
There is one further consideration. It seems
the Lord Jesus Christ does not see the nations as religious, Christian
or otherwise. In his incalculable wisdom he sees the nations as either
sheep or goat nations. The sheep is submissive and obedient where the
goat is rebellious and contrary. Jesus said the following as the nations
were brought before Him for judgment: "But when the Son of Man comes
in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His
glorious throne. "All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He
will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep
from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on
the left. "Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who
are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the
foundation of the world. 'For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to
eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a
stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick,
and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.' "Then the
righteous will answer Him, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed
You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 'And when did we see
You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 'When did
we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' "The King will answer
and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to
one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to
Me.' "Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me,
accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the
devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat;
I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and
you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in
prison, and you did not visit Me.' "Then they themselves also will
answer, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or
naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?' "Then He
will answer them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do
it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' "These will
go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life"
Atheism is defined as: The doctrine or
belief that there is no God or disbelief in the existence of a supreme
being or beings (Dictionary.com). Both positions-belief or
non-belief- are non-provable either scientifically or societal. For the
spiritual, understanding the beliefs of the atheist are difficult since
they can be easily described as believing in nothing that can't be seen,
sensed or touched. Concurrently there is the belief that life has no
real definable purpose and that our presence on this planet is the
result of a cosmic accident of some sort.
Science is a truly remarkable form of atheism.
Eminently educated people seem to have answers for everything but the
sum total of their knowledge adds up to more questions. A scripture
describes their pursuits: "Ever learning, and never able to come to
the knowledge of the truth" (2 Timothy 3:7). Cosmology is one
example. They are ever seeking the elusive "theory of everything" yet
the more they discover the more they discover the further they are from
the solution than when they began. For instance, many are preoccupied
with the beginning of creation, the "big bang", and even what came
before. In every mathematical theory they concoct as to how the universe
began they are trying to do one thing: disprove that the universe could
have been created out of nothing. In the process they discover that 90%
of the universe is actually made up of materials they can neither see
nor understand (i.e. dark matter and dark energy).
The same is true of biology. Darwin's theory
of evolution still cannot tell us how life actually began in the first
place and yet this is the theory that has gained almost complete
acceptance throughout the scientific community. With all his resources
and knowledge man cannot create life in a laboratory, even by combining
all the right elements. Why is a spiritual solution so repulsive to
these dedicated men? It is because humankind simply cannot accept that
there is something out there greater than themselves.
At least the Bible has answers to the ultimate
questions scientists incessantly struggle. As for creation God says:
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis
1:1). And: "By faith we understand that the worlds [ages] were
prepared [framed] by the word of God, so that what is seen was
not made out of things which are visible" (Hebrews 11:3). No
scientist can prove otherwise.
The Apostle Paul explains their ignorance.
"But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for
they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they
are spiritually appraised [examined]. But he who is spiritual
appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one" (1
Corinthians 2:14-15). Who is making a fool out of whom? As for intellect
being the ultimate authority on all things spirituality says: "For
the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is
life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God;
for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even
able to do so," (Romans 8:6-7). The human mind is not even able to
come to any worthwhile conclusions because it is not able to do so.
As for the spiritual things being discussed
here, don't make the mistake that we are talking about what is being
taught in most denominational churches of today. Anyone could easily be
made an atheist if he is confusing religion with spirituality. Religion
is man attempting to explain God while true spirituality is God
explaining Himself to man. And it isn't that man does not have the
capacity to be spiritual. We are all comprised of a body, a soul and a
spirit. "God is a spirit" (John 4:24). We also have a spirit as
part of our being that is capable of communicating with the spirit of
God. Most of us are not aware of this attribute because our souls and
bodies have preeminence in our lives. The spiritual man is spiritual
because he uses his spirit to communicate with God the Spirit.
Spiritualism is something one has to
experience. The spirit realm exists just beyond our five senses. It is
available to everyone but it has to be sought for. There has to be a
hunger in an individual that asks "is this all there is?" Without
spirituality, there is no higher purpose to life; no reason for man's
Solomon, King of Israel and the wisest man of
his day said this about the futility of life without God: "Vanity of
vanities," says the Preacher, Vanity of vanities! All is vanity."
[futility] What advantage does man have in all his work Which he does
under the sun? A generation goes and a generation comes, But the earth
remains forever. Also, the sun rises and the sun sets; And hastening to
its place it rises there again. Blowing toward the south, All things are
wearisome; Man is not able to tell it. The eye is not satisfied with
seeing, Nor is the ear filled with hearing. That which has been is that
which will be, And that which has been done is that which will be done.
So there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one
might say, "See this, it is new"? Already it has existed for ages Which
were before us. There is no remembrance of earlier things; And also of
the later things which will occur, There will be for them no remembrance
Among those who will come later still" (Ecclesiastes 1:2-11).
Unfortunately we live in this world of
futility. God subjected the world to futility a long time ago to teach
us something collectively and to leave us with hope. "For the
creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him
who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free
from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the
children of God" (Romans 8:20-21). We should not let the futility we
live in and see all around us blind us to the possibility there might be
Big or Small
A star is small,
A tiny dot of light;
Sprinkled about the universe,
Bright enough to break the night.
Atoms are very small as well,
But larger than quarks or natrinos
Electrons are smaller yet,
Unseen, untouched speeding wither and knell.
The smallest are the eternal strings,
The basic blocks of all that surround us;
10-41 of an inch, they theorize,
A speck of our dust from us our universe.
Neptune engulfs the Sun,
Turns it into just another dot;
Mercury magnifies it,
Now monster where jot.
Time is big or small,
To the market is small,
To Mars is long,
Forever is eternal.
God is big or small,
Big to rule all creation;
Small to relate to you and me,
Specks of dust are all the nations.
Throughout existence earth was the center,
The rest passed by sporting their wares;
Man was the center of everything,
For his appreciation if he dare.
Beauty in the beholder,
Made to absolute specification,
God's gift to us,
Exquisite in its perfection.
Futility But With Hope
God has subjected all of creation, including
man, to a state of futility (Romans 8:20; Genesis 3). Futility is
defined as: "pointless, serving no useful purpose, completely
ineffective, occupied with trifles, vain, fruitless, and producing no
result". Futile may connote completeness of failure or un-wisdom
of undertaking (Merriam-Webster, Inc: Merriam-Webster's Collegiate
Dictionary. Eleventh ed. Springfield, Mass. Merriam-Webster, Inc.,
2003). Like it or not this is the world we live in. All creation
reflects this futility. Our lives are full of hardship, unhappiness,
grief, sickness, non-fulfillment of goals and finally death. All of
these things God has imposed upon us since the time of Adam and Eve in
the Garden. Their simple act of disobedience doomed all of creation to a
Solomon described this condition perfectly
when he said: "Vanity of vanities," [literal translation futility
of futilities] says the Preacher, Vanity of vanities! [futility
of futilities] All is vanity [futile]."What advantage does man
have in all his work Which he does under the sun?... All things are
wearisome; Man is not able to tell it. The eye is not satisfied with
seeing, Nor is the ear filled with hearing. That which has been is that
which will be, And that which has been done is that which will be done.
So there is nothing new under the sun....All things are wearisome; Man is
not able to tell it. The eye is not satisfied with seeing, Nor is the
ear filled with hearing. That which has been is that which will be, And
that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing
new under the sun" (Ecclesiastes 1:8-9). Nothing we do leaves
anything permanent. Death erases all memory on earth of our works good
However, Paul recognized futility to be a
temporary condition, as God subjected creation to vanity, but not
without hope. Paul said: "For I consider that the sufferings of this
present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be
revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly
for the revealing of the sons of God [plural]. For the creation
was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who
subjected it, IN HOPE that the creation itself also will be set free
from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the
children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers
the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also
we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves
groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the
redemption of our body" (Romans 8:18-24).
Creation was subjected to futility in the
Garden of Eden after the first two humans committed the unpardonable sin
of disobedience. After the sin God told the serpent: "And I will put
enmity Between you [Satan the Serpent] and the woman, And between
your seed and her seed; [her seed is Christ] He shall bruise
[crush] you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel"
(Genesis 3:15). Satan was disguised as the serpent. Revelation describes
Satan as: "the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan"
This scripture means that God, although He had
subjected His creation to futility, He had a plan, even then, for
redemption. Satan would cripple mankind (you will strike at his heel),
but the Seed of the woman (Christ) would deliver the fatal blow ("He
will crush your head").
This is revealed by the scripture in Romans,
above. The longing of creation now waits for the revealing of the Sons
of God. When the Sons are revealed futility will be removed and the
Kingdom of God will replace it. Notice Paul uses the term "Sons",
plural. There will be many Sons, like Christ, revealed in the last day
to vanish futility. "For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all
things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory,
to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings"
(Hebrews 2:10). God subjected creation to futility in hope; hope that
the Sons who would defeat futility. As Sons coming to birth we wait
eagerly for our adoption as Sons. Actually, according to the above, all
creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the Sons because that means
their release as well (Romans 8:22-23).
Isaiah describes his vision of the Kingdom,
when all of creation is released from futility. "And the wolf will
dwell with the lamb, And the leopard will lie down with the young goat,
And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little
boy will lead them. Also the cow and the bear will graze, Their young
will lie down together, And the lion will eat straw like the ox. The
nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, And the weaned child
will put his hand on the viper's den. They will not hurt or destroy in
all My holy mountain, For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the
LORD As the waters cover the sea" (Isaiah 11:6-9). No longer will
the stronger prevail over the weak. The "law of the jungle" will give
way to eternal peace in all species be they plants, animals or insects.
The world of man will no longer be dominated by the strong and the
phrase "dog eat dog" will no longer be heard in the land.
Revelation also describes the coming Kingdom
age. "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven
and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I
saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,
made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice
from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men,
and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God
Himself will be among them and He will wipe away every tear from their
eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any
mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away." And He
who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." And
He said, "Write, for these words are faithful and true" (Rev.
Even death will be done away with. "For He
must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last
enemy that will be abolished is death" (1 Corinthians 15:25-26).
Corinthians 15:53-55 says: "For this perishable must put on the
imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this
perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have
put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written,
"DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory [Isaiah 25:8]. O DEATH, WHERE IS
YOUR VICTORY? [Hosea 13:14] O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?"
Therefore, although we may be experiencing
futility in our lives at the present time, and we seem to be in hopeless
situations, we must remember to have hope in the Lord and what He is
bringing to pass on the earth. We should as James said "Consider it
all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that
the testing of your faith produces endurance [steadfastness] And
let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and
complete, lacking in nothing" (James 1:2-4).
Remember even Jesus experienced these same
sufferings. "Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the
things which He suffered. And having been made perfect, He became to all
those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation," (Hebrews
5:8-9). And: "Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses
surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin
which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race
that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and
perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross,
despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of
God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against
Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart" (Hebrews
So although we experience the Godly imposed
futility we face it with Hope, as Paul said in Romans 8 above. God
subjected creation to futility in hope. Paul said: "For I consider
that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared
with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of
the creation waits [hopes] eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God"
Refuge of Lies
This scripture summarizes nicely Christ's work
in setting up the Kingdom and His judgment of Satan. "Therefore thus
says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone,
A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes
in it will not be disturbed. "I will make justice the measuring line And
righteousness the level; Then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies
And the waters will overflow the secret place. "Your covenant with death
will be canceled, And your pact with Sheol will not stand; When the
overwhelming scourge passes through, Then you become its trampling
place. "As often as it passes through, it will seize you; For morning
after morning it will pass through, anytime during the day or night, And
it will be sheer terror to understand what it means" (Isaiah
28:16-19). Refuge means "a place of shelter, protection, or safety;
anything to which one has recourse for aid, relief, or escape"
This one scripture says so much so much about
Christ and His victory over the enemy. First of all Satan is the refuge
of lies. He works his deception behind the scenes so effectively that
most times we are unaware of his works. He is the god of this world (2
Corinthians 4:4). This was made clear when he tested Christ in the
wilderness: "the devil took Him [Christ] to a very high
mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory;
and he said to Him, "All these things I will give You, if You fall
down and worship me." Then Jesus said to him, "Go, Satan! For it is
written, 'YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.' "
Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister
to Him" (Matthew 4:8-11). The reason he could offer all the Kingdoms
of this world to Christ was because they were his to give.
Satan had been thrown out of heaven to the
earth. "And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging
war with the dragon [Satan]. The dragon and his angels waged war,
and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found
for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of
old [from the garden] who is called the devil and Satan, who
deceives the whole world; [inhabited earth] he was thrown down to
the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him" (Revelation
12:7-9). Once he precipitated man's original sin in the Garden, and the
world was thrown into futility, he has pretty much had his way on the
For instance in Job it says: "Now there was
a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD,
and Satan also came among them. The LORD said to Satan, "From where do
you come?" Then Satan answered the LORD and said, "From roaming about on
the earth and walking around on it" (Job 1:6-7). He pretty much had
his way on the earth, roaming around to see who he could deceive. At
that time he even had God's ear.
Satan performs his deception in secret in that
most of the world is blind to the spirit realm, where he can comfortably
carry out his work in to man's unknowing detriment. It is not to his
advantage to reveal himself to people because if people actually saw him
as he is they would not follow him. Satan is 666, the triad of power he
shares with man and his satanic cohorts.
He predominately works through pride. By his
power he has raised up great nations in the earth, with their great
wonders. From Sumeria to Egypt to Rome, to the Roman Church he has
raised great monuments to man that marvel the people even today. What we
don't realize is these great monuments (pyramids and great temples in
Egypt, great cities, Grecian architecture, Roman society and
architecture, churches of splendor) are built to the glory of man or
Satan who are one and the same. Man is proud of his achievements and
calls them "wonders of the world". Yet, until Christ, God has given
Satan free reign in this world. Many believe that man had the help of
aliens in the constructing of the great marvels but it was really the
power of Satan working behind the scenes to glorify himself and man. He
deceives entire nations as they build to glorify pagan gods that are no
more than Satan disguised in his attempt to out-do God, where the real
God says He is going to bring all that down.
"Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I am laying in Zion a
stone, a tested stone, A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly
placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed. "I will make
justice the measuring line And righteousness the level". Jesus
Christ is the tested stone God lays on the foundation. The foundation is
God's, God the Father.
In Job God said: "Where were you when I
laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding,
Who set its measurements?... Or who stretched the line on it? "On what
were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone, When the morning stars
sang together And all the sons of God shouted for joy?" (Job
38:4-7). The foundation was firmly set and the costly cornerstone
[Christ] later firmly added. Justice, not deception, was the line used
"Then hail will sweep away the refuge of
lies And the waters will overflow the secret place. "Your covenant with
death will be canceled, And your pact with Sheol will not stand".
Satan has forged a covenant with death whereby he terrifies the masses.
Hebrews says: "Therefore, since the children share in flesh and
blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death
He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the
devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to
slavery all their lives" (v. 2:14-15). Satan had the power of death
until Christ used that power against him. By dying and being resurrected
He defeated forever Satan's hold on death. "For He must reign until
He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be
abolished is death" (1 Corinthians 15:25-26).
What this scripture is saying is that through
the judgments of God hail will sweep away the refuge of lies. Hail is
seen as a plague (Exod. 9:18-34; 10:5-15), as divine judgment (Hag.
2:17), as a destroying power (Isa. 28:2, 17). And water [symbolic of the
word of God] will overflow Satan's secret place. And it will be
accomplished openly, not in secret: "For nothing is hidden that will
not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come
to light" (Luke 8:17). Even today we are beginning to see openly the
corruption that invades our government. Satan's secret places are being
exposed by the light of the Coming Lord.
When will it happen? "When the overwhelming
scourge passes through, Then you [Satan] become its trampling place. "As
often as it passes through, it will seize you; For morning after morning
it will pass through, anytime during the day or night, And it will be
sheer terror to understand what it means" (Isaiah 28:16-19). The
terror will belong to the evil one as he sees his refuge destroyed by
the coming of the Lord. The Lord comes this time with a sword. "And I
saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is
called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war.
His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He
has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is
clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of
God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white
and clean, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a
sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will
rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce
wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a
name written, 'King of Kings, and Lord of Lords" (Revelation
19:11-16). This is the second Coming of the Lord, not as a Lamb but as a
"And the beast was seized, and with him the
false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he
deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who
worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire
which burns with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword
which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds
were filled with their flesh" (Rev. 19:20-21). And with all the
"refuge of lies" destroyed the evil one who had no place to hide any
War and the Middle East
This article discusses war as it applied and
applies to the Middle East i.e. Israel and the surrounding nations. WAR
in Hebrew is milḥāmâ and occurs 313
times in the OT from lāḥam, 'to fight';
denoting the army in battle array. In the N.T. Greek polemos, is used 18
I. Strategic Importance of Palestine (Israel)
It is no wonder that war so fills the pages of
the OT. The position of Palestine in relation to Mesopotamia and Egypt
was truly of strategic importance to surrounding nations. Because the
Arabian desert was located between Palestine and the two ancient centers
of civilization (Mesopotamia and Egypt) ensured that contact between
those warring nations had to be via Palestine to avoid the desert
crossing. Therefore Palestine could not avoid being the theater of
war–and a prize of war–for considerable periods during the last two
millennia B.C.E. Added to this was the fact that the people of Israel
secured a kingdom for themselves only by embarking on a war of conquest
and that, once established, they had to engage in defensive wars to fend
off the Philistines who were challenging their claim to the title-deeds
of Canaan. Neither was David's territorial expansion gains made without
military engagements beyond the borders of Israel. The imperial era was
short-lived, however, and the divided kingdoms of Israel and Judah are
soon to be seen defending themselves against their immediate neighbors,
and finally against the unrelenting might of Assyria and Babylonia.
II. War and Religion
In the Near East generally war was a sacred
undertaking in which the honor of the national god was very much at
stake. The difference in Israel was that the God of Israel was
transcendent and did not rise and fall with the fortunes of his people.
For all that, he is 'the God of the armies of Israel' (1 Sa. 17:45) and
far more involved in the struggles of his people than Marduk or Asshur
(pagan gods) were ever thought to be (cf. 2 Ch. 20:22). God himself is
described as a 'man of war' (Ex. 15:3; Is. 42:13) and one of his titles
is 'Lord of hosts'. This latter may refer to heavenly hosts (1 Ki.
22:19) or to Israelite armies (1 Sa. 17:45). It was God who led the
armies of Israel into battle (Jdg. 4:14) so that the earliest account of
Israelite triumphs was called 'The Book of the WARS OF THE LORD' (Nu.
21:14). Indeed, at every stage in preparations for battle Israel's
dependence upon God was acknowledged. First, inquiry was made as to
whether this was the proper moment for attack (2 Sa. 5:23-24); then
sacrifice had to be offered. So vital did the latter preliminary seem
that Saul, in desperation, arrogated priestly privilege to himself, lest
battle be joined before the favor of the Lord had been sought (1 Sa.
The battle cry had a religious significance
(Jdg. 7:18, 20) and, further, acclaimed the presence of God as
symbolized in the ARK OF THE COVENANT (1 Sa. 4:5-6; cf. the manner in
which the arrival of the ark in Jerusalem was greeted, 2 Sa. 6:15).
Because of the divine presence resident in the Ark the Israelites could
join battle in confidence of victory (Jdg. 3:28; 1 Ch. 5:22), even if
the forces of nature had to be invoked to secure the victory (Jos.
10:11-14). God always went before them in battle because it was His
glory at stake.
After battle it often happened that the
Israelites observed a 'BAN' (ḥērem), which
meant that a whole city or country, people and possessions, would be set
apart for God. No Israelite was permitted to appropriate for personal
needs anything or anyone belonging to a place which had been put under a
ban; failure in this matter met with the direst consequences (Jos. 7; 1
Sa. 15). Sometimes the ban might not be so comprehensive as in the case
of Jericho (Jos. 6:18-24), but always the right of God to the fruit of
victory was being asserted. The ban was God's way of dealing with 'the
iniquity of the Amorites' (Gn. 15:16) and is central to the OT concept
of 'the holy war'. Moreover, if pagan tendencies were discovered among
the Israelites themselves, the offending community was likewise to be
put under a ban (Dt. 13:12-18). And if the whole nation incurred God's
displeasure, as they often did, then the agents of retribution could be
the very pagans whom God had previously repudiated (Is. 10:5-6; Hab.
1:5-11). The ultimate is reached at the end of the monarchical period,
when God announces his intention of himself fighting against Judah and
on the side of the Babylonians (Je. 21:5-7). For a considerable time,
however, the prophetic community had enjoyed the assurance of a better
hope–nothing less than the eradication of war from the earth and the
inauguration of a new era of peace by a Davidic 'Prince of Peace' (Is.
9:6; cf. Is. 2:4; Mi. 4:3).
III. Method of Warfare
In the days before Israel had a standing army
the national militia was summoned for action by means of the trumpet
(Jdg. 3:27) or by messenger (1 Sa. 11:7). When on the offensive the
Israelites set much store by military intelligence (Jos. 2; 2 Ki.
6:8-12); since there was no such thing as a declaration of war, the
advantage for the assailant was all the greater. Usually expeditions
were undertaken in spring when the roads were suitable (2 Sa. 11:1).
Tactics naturally depended on the terrain and on the numbers involved,
but in general the Israelite commanders were able, in defensive
engagements at least, to exploit their superior knowledge of local
geography. When it was a case of a head-on confrontation, as between
Josiah and Pharaoh Neco at Megiddo, the Israelites do not seem to have
fared so well. As well as the trumpet, signaling could be done by means
of fires. The conventional methods of warfare are all represented in the
OT; foray (1 Sa. 14), siege (1 Ki. 20:1) and ambush (Jos. 8) figure
alongside the set armor piece.
IV. War in the New Testament
Extending Christ's kingdom by military means
was not Jesus' way of battle in the NT. 'My kingship is not of this
world; if my kingship were of this world, my servants would fight'
(Jn. 18:36) was the principle enunciated by our Jesus when he stood
before Pilate. And his words to Peter as recorded in Mt. 26:52 cast a
certain shadow on the use of any force whatever the circumstances. But
the Christian is a citizen of two worlds and has duties to both; tension
between the conflicting demands is inevitable, especially since the
secular powers have been ordained by God and do not 'bear the sword in
vain' (Rom. 13:4). Paul availed himself not only of Roman citizenship
but also of the protection of Roman troops, as when his life was
threatened in Jerusalem (Acts 21). Piety was not regarded as
incompatible with the pursuit of a military career, moreover, and those
soldiers who inquired of John the Baptist as to their higher duty were
not encouraged to desert (see Acts 10:1-2; Luke 3:14). We are to assume,
on the other hand, that the cause which bound together Matthew the tax
collector and Simon the Zealot in the original Twelve required both to
abandon their erstwhile occupations. In the early church a military
career for the Christian was generally frowned upon; Tertullian (an
early church Father) is representative in his view that the two callings
were incompatible, though he made allowances for those already committed
to military service before conversion.
The Christian's warfare is pre-eminently a
spiritual warfare and he has been equipped with all the armor necessary
if he is to obtain victory (Eph. 6:10-20). It follows that he should be
under military discipline, and to this end the NT abounds in injunctions
couched in military terms (cf. 1 Tim. 1:18; 1 Pet. 5:9) and in military
metaphors generally (cf. 2 Tim. 2:3-4; 1 Pet. 2:11). The critical battle
was won at Calvary (Col. 2:15) so that the emphasis in a passage like
Eph. 6:10-20 is not so much on the gaining of new ground, but on the
holding of what has already been won. Victory ultimate and complete will
come when Christ is revealed from heaven at the end of the age (2 Thes.
1:7-10). The final clash between Christ and the minions of darkness is
depicted in Chs. 16, 19 and 20 of Revelation. A decisive battle is
fought (either literal or symbolic) at a place called ARMAGEDDON (or
Har-Magedon or Mt.Megiddo) according to Rev. 16:16. The most likely
explanation of the name is that which links it with the hill (Heb. har)
Megiddo was the scene of many great battles in
history (cf. 2 Ch. 35:22) and its appearance in an apocalyptic context
is most fitting. For the enemies of Christ this encounter will mean
destruction (Rev. 19:17-21). But thus will Psalm 110 and a host of OT
passages find their fulfillment as the era of Messianic rule begins. The
harbingers of that blessed age will indeed be 'wars and rumors of wars'
(Mt. 24:6), but when Messiah reigns 'of the increase of his government
and of peace there will be no end' (Is. 9:7).
V. The Qumran War Scroll
Among the first DEAD SEA SCROLLS to be
discovered was one which has become known as 'The War of the Sons of
Light against the Sons of Darkness'. It is undoubtedly a product of
the community which was once installed at Qumran and it issues
directions to the community in anticipation of a protracted war between
the forces of good and the forces of evil. It would seem that this
scroll was one of the more exotic products of the age of Roman
domination of Palestine, an age when apocalyptic thinking was at a
premium. After the initiation by Christ of the New Covenant in His
Blood, however, any war after His ascension is more likely to be
spiritual in nature.
G. von Rad, Der heilige Krieg im alten Israel, 1951
Y. Yadin, The Scroll of the War of the Sons of Light against the Sons of Darkness, 1962
The Art of Warfare in Biblical Lands, 1963
R. de Vaux, Ancient Israel, 1965, pp. 247-267
C. Brown, J. Watts, 'War', The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, 3 vols., 1975-8 pp. 958-967
M. Langley, 'Jesus and Revolution', pp. 967-981.
Time Is Not Poetic
Time itself cannot be defined,
Time or no time is eternal,
With no laws but its own,
Unwillingly we are swept away.
"All your money,
Cannot one more minute buy"
Do you have the time?
No one knows what time it is.
Was yesterday reality?
Or just an illusion created,
By our finite minds,
Will today be our dream tomorrow?
Should we be ruled by Time?
The angel stood in the
Midheaven one foot on earth's corners,
"Time will be no more".
So was time just a dream,
Or a reality too much to bear,
Bound as we were,
In its sharp jaws
As a trap, no escape,
Our labor comes to naught,
Our thoughts gone in the wind,
Our beings lost in eternity.
Imagine no time,
Living only in the moment,
Without any care,
Without cruel death a' waiting.
Futility reigns, darkness encompasses,
Can we be at peace with so cruel a fate?
Waiting just beyond the next turn,
We are victims of what we can't know.
So time marches on they say,
To its inescapable end.
Will the end be grand?
Or the end of it all?
To the philosopher,
Whatever will be will be,
We cannot see the past,
Blind to the future.
What do we say then?
To love God and ourselves,
To make fun in the Sun,
Knowing this too will pass.
The Father and the Mediator
Christ's purpose on the earth was to relate us
to the Father and to reveal the Father to us. Christ said: "If you
had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know
Him, and have seen Him." Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father,
and it is enough for us." Jesus said to him, "Have I been so long with
you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? HE WHO HAS SEEN ME
HAS SEEN THE FATHER; how can you say, 'Show us the Father'? "Do you not
believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that
I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding
in Me does His works. "Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father
is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves" (John
Religion has the wrong idea about Christ.
Christ was but a representation or representative of the Father on the
earth. All the works done by Christ were done by the Father through His
earthly ambassador Jesus. "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a
new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
Now all these things are from God, [The Father] who reconciled us
to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation,
namely, that God [The Father] was in Christ reconciling the world
to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has
committed to us the word of reconciliation" (2 Corinthians 5:17-19).
It was and has always been the Father who is
represented as God in the scriptures. Christ is the Father's gift to us
so that we can have the opportunity to be cleansed and thus acceptable
to the Father. The Father is and always has been seeking a family. Jesus
sat on a bluff overlooking Jerusalem and lamented with tears:
"Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are
sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the
way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.
"Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!" (Matthew
23:37-38). God wants to draw us to Himself, just as He was constantly
drawing Old Testament Israel. However Israel was unwilling to come. God
wanted to gather them like a mother hen draws her chicks by spreading
her wings for the chicks to gain refuge against anything that would
otherwise befall them. God the Father is tired of being separated from
us. We likewise should be tired of living separate from him. He, the
Father, will pursue us throughout all eternity until He gets what He
wants-His very own family of Sons.
Everything is going to end up with the Father
anyway. Paul said: "...then comes the end, when He [Christ]
hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all
rule and all authority and power" (1 Corinthians 15:24). Christ's
purpose as well as ours is to abolish all false powers and turn the
Kingdom over to God the Father.
Christ is our mediator between us and the
Father. A mediator is defined as one that "occupies a middle position
to bring accord out of by action as an intermediary to interpose between
parties in order to reconcile them; the act or process of mediating
especially intervention between conflicting parties to promote
reconciliation, settlement, or compromise one that mediates between
parties at variance" (Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, 11th Ed.). The
Father and humanity have been at odds for millenniums so it was
necessary for the Father to send a mediator in order to reconcile
humanity to Himself.
Christ is our mediator of a New Covenant. In
the Old Covenant of the Old Testament there was only temporary
forgiveness of sin by animal sacrifice which had to be performed time
and again. There was no permanent provision for the forgiveness of sin.
Christ came to institute a New Covenant wherein His sacrifice on the
cross was acceptable to the Father as a forgiveness of sin once and for
all time. The New Covenant provided that: "FOR THIS IS THE COVENANT
THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE
LORD: I WILL PUT MY LAWS INTO THEIR MINDS, AND I WILL WRITE THEM ON
THEIR HEARTS... "AND THEY SHALL NOT TEACH EVERYONE HIS FELLOW CITIZEN, AND
EVERYONE HIS BROTHER, SAYING, 'KNOW THE LORD,' FOR ALL WILL KNOW ME,
FROM THE LEAST TO THE GREATEST OF THEM" (Heb 8:10-11).
Christ becomes the mediator of this New
Covenant, working as an intercessor between man and the Father so that
the New Covenant is fully implemented. Hebrews 8:6 says: "But now He
[Christ] has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He
is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on
better promises". And: "For this reason He is the mediator of a new
covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of
the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those
who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance"
(Hebrews 9:15). Further "But you have come to Mount Zion and to the
city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of
angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are
enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, [the Father]
and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the
mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood" (Hebrews
In Jesus we have a high priest (mediator,
intercessor) better than the priests which went before Him. Hebrews
7:25-28 says: "Therefore He is able also to save forever those who
draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession
for them. For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy,
innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the
heavens; who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up
sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people,
because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. For the Law
appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath,
which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever".
Thus the end result is that we learn to relate
directly to the Father, as Christ the Son does. If we are to be Sons
like Christ our intercession is ultimately directly to the Father, as is
His. The time comes when the Sons reach maturity and it is no longer
necessary to have an intermediary. As the writer of Hebrews said in
8:10-11: "FOR THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THE HOUSE OF
ISRAEL AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD: I WILL PUT MY LAWS INTO THEIR
MINDS, AND I WILL WRITE THEM ON THEIR HEARTS. AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD
[FATHER], AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. "AND THEY SHALL NOT TEACH
EVERYONE HIS FELLOW CITIZEN, AND EVERYONE HIS BROTHER, SAYING, 'KNOW THE
LORD,' FOR ALL WILL KNOW ME, FROM THE LEAST TO THE GREATEST OF THEM".
They will all call God Father.
The Holy Spirit
The first reference in the Bible to the Holy
Spirit is in Genesis 1:2: "The earth was formless and void, and
darkness was over the spirit of the deep, and the SPIRIT OF GOD was
moving over the surface of the waters" (emphasis added). As Christ
was the Word of God, the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God. The Father
and Son are spirit and the Holy Spirit is the representation of that
Spirit throughout the earth and the universe. Although we will here be
referring to the Spirit as it manifested in the New Testament, it is
safe to say whenever a reference is made to the Spirit of God in the Old
Testament that is probably the Holy Spirit.
The purpose of the Holy Spirit, as it pertains
to us and Jesus Christ is discussed most frequently in the Gospel of
John. In John 15:5-15, Jesus said: "But now I am going to Him who
sent Me; and none of you asks Me, 'Where are You going?' "But because I
have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. "But I tell
you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not
go away, the Helper [the Holy Spirit] shall not come to you; but
if I go, I will send Him to you. And He, when He comes, He will convict
the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment; concerning
sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness,
because I go to the Father, and you no longer behold Me; and concerning
judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. "I have many
more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when He,
the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He
will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will
speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He shall glorify Me;
for He shall take of Mine, and shall disclose it to you. All things that
the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine, and
will disclose it to you".
Thus, the Holy Spirit is our helper (Paraclete
in Greek). He will help us by revealing the things of Christ to us.
Remember, Christ had a limited ministry of 3 1/2 years and He ministered
in an area not more than 30 miles from His birthplace Nazareth. He had
more to tell us, but since we could not bear the deeper truths He sent
the Helper to guide us into ALL the truth.
The Holy Spirit also comes as the "Parousia",
Greek for the presence of God. Suffice it to say that anytime we feel
God's presence, receive a revelation of Him, exercise a gift of the
Spirit like prophesy or worship in the Spirit, all of this comes from
the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is one with the Father and Jesus
Christ, but the Father has turned all things over to the Son. Christ
disappeared out of our sight so He could send the Helper, a
manifestation of God, to guide us in our Christian walk.
The Book of Revelation is full of references
to the Spirit, but like Christ all His functions go back to the Father
of spirits. The Father seeks worshipers that worship Him in spirit and
truth (John 4:23-24). It was the Holy Spirit that fell on the many on
the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-8). And in Romans Chapter 8, the chapter
which focuses on a walk in the Spirit, it is the Holy Spirit he is
referring to. Of course Christ said that when you have seen Him, you've
seen the Father. When we are aware of, and walk by the Spirit, we are
also walking with the Father and Christ; they are one.
Oneness of the Trinity: Jesus fervent prayer,
recorded in John 17, speaks of the oneness of the "Trinity", and
explains that we too are to be one as they are one. Verse 20-21 state:
"I do not ask on behalf of these alone [the disciples He was
speaking to] but for those also who believe in me through their
[disciples] word; that they may all be one ; even as you Father, are
in me and I in you, that they also may be in us" He goes on: "the
glory which you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one
as we are one; I in them and You in Me that they may be perfected in
unity Father I desire that they also, whom You have given Me be with Me
where I am, so that they may see My Glory" (John 17:22-24). The
Helper will guide us into Christ's ultimate vision perfected in unity
with the God head.
The True Story of the Nephilim
In this message, we are going to begin in the
Old Testament, and wind up close to the end of the Bible in the book of
Jude. We will read passages of Scripture to show how the battle of
nephilim spirits has come down through the centuries from the days
before the flood. It was their satanic influence that occasioned God to
send the flood to destroy all flesh. And he is an unwitting tool to
bring forth the will of God in the earth. Of course, he doesn't intend
to. When you really begin to understand the nephilim, you see that there
is one basic thing about them: There is a satanic input into their
origin or generation, just as by the Living Word you are born of an
incorruptible seed, the Word of God that lives and abides forever (I
The Hebrew word
(néfilim) is transliterated here. It commonly means "the fallen ones"
(from the Hebrew naphal, fallen BDB 658, KB 709). There are other
translations of the word nephilim such as "Giants" (KJV), and "tyrants".
However "fallen ones" seems to suit the beings described in the
scriptures. The nephilim of the Old Testament were the closest approach
to sons that Satan had.
Genesis says the following: "Now it came
about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters
were born to them, that the sons of God [these were not sons of God
but fallen angels] saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and
they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose. Then the LORD said,
"My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh;
nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years."The
Nephilim (fallen angels) were on the earth in those days, and also
afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and
they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old,
men of renown" (Genesis 6:1-4).
Almost every nation has some kind of mythology
about a Hercules or an Atlas who was able to perform great feats–some
being who was sort of half god. The Hawaiian people have legends about
one called Maui, who did such things as lassoing the sun and holding it.
The Greeks were great for stories about beings who were half god and
half human. But you say, "Well, that's all mythology. We don't want any
part of that." However, it is surprising that there is a counterpart in
the Scriptures. These men of renown probably gave rise to these "myths"
of great men in the earth, some say giants. However they did not do
good, as some of the heroes of old are reported-they were evil
incarnations of a mix of the devil's power and man.
There are indications in other Jewish writings
that these men taught mankind things that they were not ready to
receive. Since these fallen angels had been in heaven they knew secrets.
They taught man to build cities which became centers of evil. They
taught them secret sciences such as alchemy, magical potions and
principles of witchcraft using transference. Legends of flying carpets
and flying may have some basis in fact from these times. They taught man
music which can be used for evil purposes. They were taught to forge
implements of war from bronze and iron, before the traditional bronze
and iron age.
This was similar to the times of Adam and Eve,
who were no more than children. The tree of knowledge contained
information they were not ready to receive and that is why God blocked
access to it. Satan knew this and if his plan had succeeded man would
have been armed with forbidden knowledge he could have used for eternity
had not God cut it short by banishing them from the Garden (see Genesis
7 for some indications that men were taught by these evil nephilim).
Because of their evil God decided to blot them
out from the face of the earth. "Then the LORD saw that the
wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the
thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The LORD was sorry that
He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. The LORD
said, "I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the
land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky;
for I am sorry that I have made them" (Genesis 6:5-7).
"But Noah found favor in the eyes of the
LORD. These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a
righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God. Noah became
the father of three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Now the earth was
corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. God
looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had
corrupted their way upon the earth. Then God said to Noah, "The end of
all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence
because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth"
So God told Noah to build a great ark which
was to be salvation for man. "And as it was in the days of Noah, so
shall it be at the coming of the Son of Man" (Luke 17:26). In
Genesis 7:1: "Then the Lord said to Noah, "Enter the ark, you and all
your household; for you alone I have seen to be righteous before Me in
this time" (or "in this generation"). Why did the Lord say that only
Noah was righteous? Ham was not righteous. We read that immediately
after the flood, Ham, who was his youngest son, made fun of Noah.
We read about it in Genesis 9: "Now the sons
of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem and Ham and Japheth; and Ham
was the father of Canaan" (Verse 18). You must understand this, because
the curse that we are about to read, which came on Canaan, was the key
of everything that happened in the promises that God gave to Abraham
later on and in the whole book of Joshua (Joshua 11:10–23). God called
Abraham out of Ur of Chaldees and sent him to the land of Canaan. He
said, "You are going to inherit this land–but not yet. It will be
four hundred years yet" (Genesis 15:7, 13–16). God was getting ready
to deal as He had done earlier with the flood–to destroy. He set about
to destroy the nephilim and the evil of that day, and start all over
with Noah because he was the only righteous man He could find but His
plan was foiled by the nephilim who came through on the Ark.
Genesis said earlier that the nephilim were in
the earth before and after [the flood]. "The nephilim (fallen angels)
were on the earth in those days, and also afterward". How did the
nephilim spirit make it through the flood designed to destroy the
nephilim and all mankind? It came through the line of Ham, son of Noah,
and his son Canaan. "Noah was a righteous man". "And Ham, the father of
Canaan (you see how this is the only son identified here), saw the
nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. But Shem and
Japheth took a garment and laid it upon both their shoulders and walked
backward and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were
turned away, so that they did not see their father's nakedness. When
Noah awoke from his wine, he knew what his youngest son had done to him"
(Verses 22–24). Some sources even imply a homosexual act here.
So Noah said, "Cursed be Canaan; servant of
servants he shall be to his brothers." He also said, "Blessed be the
Lord, the God of Shem; and let Canaan be his servant. May God enlarge
Japheth, and let him dwell in the tents of Shem; and let Canaan be his
servant." And Noah lived three hundred and fifty years after the flood.
So all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years, and he died"
(Verses 25–29). The curse here was on Ham's son, Canaan and we will see
how this played out over the next centuries concerning Moses, Joshua and
the conquest of the Promised Land. The nephilim spirit came through the
flood with Ham and Canaan.
In the conquest of the land of Canaan we see
the same intent of God to destroy. How could a loving Father above send
Joshua in and say, "Kill them all. Anyone you leave will be a thorn
in your side. Don't spare one of them" (Deuteronomy 7:1–2)."But
if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you,
then it shall come about that those whom you let remain of them will
become as pricks in your eyes and as thorns in your sides, and they
shall trouble you in the land in which you live. And it shall come about
that as I plan to do to them, so I will do to you." (Numbers
33:55–56). How can we understand such a bloodthirsty command to
annihilate them all? It was because of the curse on Canaan, the son of
Ham that we read about in this passage. This was apparently the one
nephilim spirit that had made it through from the antediluvian world
into the next one. It says that the nephilim were in the earth then and
also afterward (Genesis 6:4).
The Canaanite becomes important because it was
from the Canaanite that the nephilim came forth, and Hebron became their
stronghold. Goliath was one of the giants, nine feet tall, that David
brought down (1 Samuel 17:4–10, 26–51). Jerusalem was possessed by the
nephilim and it took David's skill to capture Jerusalem so it could
become the city of the Lord's people. Now as for the Jebusites, the
inhabitants of Jerusalem, the sons of Judah could not drive them out; so
the Jebusites live with the sons of Judah at Jerusalem until this day
(Joshua 15:63). Now the king and his men went to Jerusalem against the
Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, and they said to David, "You
shall not come in here, but the blind and lame shall turn you away"
thinking, "David cannot enter here." Nevertheless, David captured
the stronghold of Zion, that is the city of David. And David said on
that day, "Whoever would strike the Jebusites, let him reach the lame
and the blind, who are hated by David's soul, through the water tunnel."
Therefore they say, "The blind or the lame shall not come into the
house." So David lived in the stronghold, and called it the city of
David. And David built all around from Millo and inward. And David
became greater and greater, for the Lord God of hosts was with him" (II
When Absalom became a traitor, he fled to the
area of Hebron, to Talmai in Geshur after killing his brother; and there
he received nephilim input (II Samuel 13:28–39). When he returned (II
Samuel 14:21–23), he succeeded in actually deceiving the hearts of the
people until he took over the throne from his father David. And David
fled for his life from the son he had forgiven for murdering his own
brother (II Samuel 14:33–15:14).
Do not ever think that this nephilim spirit is
not one of the most deceptive that has ever come on the face of the
earth. A devil spirit has difficulty in relating to the human race. Even
the good angels have difficulty relating to the human race. It says of
the angels that they desired to look into the salvation. They inquired
into it (I Peter 1:12). They could not understand man's disobedience and
the plan of redemption that was coming. They could not understand how a
people, made much lower than angels, so very low, were going to come up
to sonship, something that an angel himself could never attain (Hebrews
Devils cannot understand that either; and so,
in order for Satan to make his communication and his deception, he has
to find a human being whose nature he can infiltrate. This combined
human nature and satanic nature can be so subtle and so blended that we
have probably the greatest satanic input and difficulty which exists in
the whole world today.
From the very beginning, the Word was:
"Canaan is going to serve Shem. Canaan is going to be brought down."
And yet when they came into the land of Canaan it was those accursed
Canaanites with that nephilim spirit who so bluffed out the people of
God that ten of the spies returned with an evil report. This was the
"When they returned from spying out the
land, at the end of forty days, they proceeded to come to Moses and
Aaron and to all the congregation of the sons of Israel in the
wilderness of Paran, at Kadesh; and they brought back word to them and
to all the congregation and showed them the fruit of the land. Thus they
told him, and said, "We went in to the land where you sent us; and it
certainly does flow with milk and honey, and this is its fruit.
Nevertheless, the people who live in the land are strong, and the cities
are fortified and very large; and moreover, we saw the descendants of
Anak there. Amalek is living in the land of the Negev [Amalek are
part of the nephilim] and the Hittites and the Jebusites and the
Amorites are living in the hill country, and the Canaanites are living
by the sea and by the side of the Jordan."
"Then Caleb quieted the people before
Moses, and said, "We should by all means go up and take possession of
it, for we shall surely overcome it." (Numbers 13:25–33). Joshua and
Caleb understood the nature of the nephilim spirit, and they said that
even the enemies' "shadow had been taken away" (Numbers 14:9,
NASB, literal translation). This means that Joshua and Caleb as prophets
of God had seen that the aura and the demonic protection had been
stripped away, and all that the Israelites had to do was go in and kill
those giants–they were already defeated.
"Know for certain that your descendants
will be strangers in a land that is not theirs" (predicting the
Egyptian bondage, that they would go down in Egypt and be slaves),
"where they will be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years. But I
will also judge the nation whom they will serve; and afterward they will
come out with many possessions. And as for you, you shall go to your
fathers in peace; and you shall be buried at a good old age" Then in
the fourth generation they shall return here, "for the iniquity of
the Amorite" (now we are back to those nephilim again") "is not
yet complete" (Numbers 13:16). God, in His infinite sense of
justice, was willing to wait until their iniquity was full before
The spies Joshua sent to spy out the land
returned with a bad report, all 10 but Joshua and Caleb. Numbers
13:21–22a says: "So they [the spies] went up and spied out the land
from the wilderness of Zin as far as Rehob, at Lebohamath" When they
had gone up into the Negev (Negev means south country), they came to
Hebron (remember what was previously said about Hebron, home of the sons
of Anak–the nephilim) where Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the descendants
of Anak were.
The spies continued: "And we became like
grasshoppers ... in their sight." Numbers 13:33b. The nephilim always
intimidate. One significant thing about a nephilim spirit is that it
intimidates you until you are afraid to stand up. But the thing about
men of God like Caleb and Joshua is that they would stand right up to
nephilim every time. They would fight it right to a conclusion: "It's
either God or it's nothing at all."
What made Caleb and Joshua so strong to
believe that they could do it? Why did they come back to Moses with such
a good report? Joshua, the son of Nun, and Caleb are named in verses 5–6
of Numbers 14. Verse 9 is the key verse: "Only do not rebel against
the Lord; and do not fear the people of the land, for they shall be our
prey" (or "our meat"). "Their protection" [the Hebrew
reads, "their shadow"] "has been removed from them, and the Lord
is with us; do not fear them."
The aura about them of satanic
devil-possession had already been judged. Don't forget, the nephilim are
not defeated by men like Caleb and Joshua. The nephilim are defeated by
the fact that God strips these human beings in their protective
dedication to the devil. He strips them of their aura, strips them of
their satanic protection, and you move in. They are helpless.
Can a person lose that protection? God can see
to it that the devil's crowd loses their aura, their shadow, their
protection. "Well, I don't know much about auras," you say. Do you have
trouble with the idea of an aura being blessed? Just read Acts 5:14–16.
People lined up along a street so that when Peter walked by, his
"shadow" might fall on them and they would be healed. Is there power
around a person? If you have trouble with the idea of an aura, don't
call it that. Call it a shadow. The sun of righteousness is smiling upon
us and we are casting a shadow of healing (Malachi 4:2).
In Joshua chapter 14 it describes Caleb taking
on the nephilim cities. Forty years had passed since he and Joshua first
saw the nephilim, the sons of Anak. When they came back, Caleb said,
"Moses promised me that I could have any piece of ground that I want"
(Numbers 14:24; Deuteronomy 1:36). He didn't pick a fertile valley;
instead, he went to the hill country where the nephilim were. He said,
"That's what I want." "Now then, give me this hill country about
which the Lord spoke on that day, for you heard on that day that Anakim
were there, with great fortified cities; perhaps the Lord will be with
me, and I shall drive them out as the Lord has spoken." So Joshua
blessed him, and gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh for an
inheritance (Joshua 14:12–13).
In the fourteenth chapter of Joshua, Caleb
tells how he had wholly followed the Lord. Then the sons of Judah drew
near to Joshua in Gilgal, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite
said to him, "You know the word which the Lord spoke to Moses the man of
God concerning you and me at Kadesh-barnea. I was forty years old when
Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh-barnea to spy out the
land, and I brought word back to him as it was in my heart. Nevertheless
my brethren who went up with me made the heart of the people melt with
fear; but I followed the Lord my God fully." Verses 6–8. At this
particular time Caleb was eighty-five years old. So forty-five years had
passed, and he still wanted to get at those giants.
"And now behold, the Lord has let me live,
just as He spoke, these forty-five years, from the time that the Lord
spoke this word to Moses, when Israel walked in the wilderness; and now
behold, I am eighty-five years old today" (Verse 10). Imagine an
eighty-five-year-old man saying, "I still want to take on those giants."
I think that his desire to see God glorified where the children of
Israel had been defeated made him strong in the Lord.
He said, "I am still as strong today as I
was in the day Moses sent me; as my strength was then, so my strength is
now, for war and for going out and coming in. Now then, give me this
hill country about which the Lord spoke on that day, for you heard on
that day that Anakim were there, with great fortified cities; perhaps
the Lord will be with me, and I shall drive them out as the Lord has
spoken." So Joshua blessed him, and gave Hebron to Caleb the son of
Jephunneh for an inheritance. This is very significant; Hebron was the
center of the demonic nephilim forces.
Assuming they are a problem to the coming
forth of the Kingdom of God, how are we going to fight these nephilim? I
think that Caleb gives us a key in the way that he wholly followed the
Lord. Elijah gives us a key in the way that he stood up against Ahab and
Jezebel (I Kings 21:17–24). The Jezebel spirit is again in the direct
lineage of these nephilim (I Kings 16:31; 21:25–26; Genesis 10:15). And
that same spirit existed in the New Testament times. In Revelation 2:20
we read that the church in Thyatira tolerated the Jezebel in their
As we pointed out earlier, there are two
worlds? And both of them are very real in your life. There is a natural
world, and there is a spiritual world. The natural world seems to be
circumstances and problems and situations that you face. But if you
could just see the spirit world behind it, you would understand much
more. You would understand why, when Jesus Christ was in the wilderness,
Satan came to Him and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world, and
said, "If You bow down and worship me, I will give them to You, for
they are mine to give" (Luke 4:5–7). Satan knew that he had control.
We have been in war against the nephilim
spirits that have dominated right up until this present time. Now the
battle is coming to a head. And you know what is going to win it.
Religious movements will not. The thing that is going to win now will be
God's a Living Word that comes against the principalities and the
powers, the spiritual wickedness in the high places (Ephesians 3:10;
6:12, 17). It is going to bring them down.
Paul said: "We wrestle not against flesh
and blood but against principalities and powers, the world rulers of
this darkness" (Ephesians 6:12). We are facing something that is not
flesh and blood. That is why you cannot say, "The government is all to
blame. My wife is to blame; my husband is to blame. It is my kids. It is
my job. It is my boss." I grant you, there can be some real demonic
input from all of them. The devil can manipulate to try to bring warfare
against you. Many things can be happening to you that you cannot
explain. Whenever you come up against witchcraft, you are coming up
against a real force that is operating in the spirit world. But do you
believe that we have authority in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ over
this? Christ has authority over it!
Authority does not work until you have a
concept of what you are fighting. Paul said, "I don't just strike
out, beating the air. I don't run uncertainly" (I Corinthians
9:24–27). If he was going to win the race, he had to know where the goal
line was. If he was going to win the battle, he had to know where the
enemy was. Paul called it "beating the air." We do not want to beat the
air. We want to be effective. Just as the Lord said, "Whosoever will
may come" (Revelation 22:17), He said also, "Whatsoever you ask,
you will receive" (Matthew 21:22; John 15:16). However, many people
don't even know what the "whatsoever" is. They don't know what they
should pray for. They don't know what they are to intercede for.
True believers believe. The battle for Canaan
was not as as big as people think it was. Our battle is not as big as
you think it is. The Israelites probably thought that they were chasing
the enemy, but they looked and discovered that hornets were stinging the
Canaanites and that was why they were running (Joshua 24:12). Suppose
you say: I don't have enough time to finish this day! Well, Joshua told
the sun to stand still until he finished his job (Joshua 10:12–14). He
was killing Canaanites. He was getting rid of nephilim spirits. He was
going after the thing that was standing against the people possessing a
promise which at that particular time was close to five hundred years
We have to understand, strange as it may seem,
that the ministry of the nephilim continued in the Spirit long after
they were dead in the natural. In Christ's time it started when a woman
took some precious ointment a few days before Jesus was going to be
crucified, and poured this costly ointment of spikenard on His body.
What a wonderful thing that was. Jesus said: "Let her alone. Against
the day of My burial she has brought his forth" (John 12:3–7). In
some way her love foretold that even while He was staggering under the
cross, mingled with the sweat and the blood would be the precious
anointing that she had given Him.
"Mary therefore took a pound of very
costly, genuine spikenard ointment, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and
wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the
fragrance of the ointment. But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who
was intending to betray Him, said, "Why was this ointment not sold for
three hundred denarii, and given to poor people?" Now he said this, not
because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and
as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it. Jesus
therefore said, "Let her alone, in order that she may keep it for the
day of My burial." John 12:3–7. What is it that makes people so
furious against things like that? God is not religious. It has taken the
religious people every time to plot to put Jesus Christ on a cross and
to crucify Him afresh, to put Him to an open shame (Hebrews 6:6). Think
about that, and open your heart to the fact that God is not asking you
to be religious. He is asking that He can fill your very nature and
change you, transform you, make you the instruments of righteousness in
the earth, make you a part of the great plan of redemption that He has
for you to see this old world redeemed in the name of the Lord.
Before Judas went out to betray Jesus the
following occurred: "Jesus answered, "It is he to whom I shall give a
piece of bread when I have dipped it." And having dipped the bread,
He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. Now after the piece of
bread, Satan entered him. Then Jesus said to him, "What you do, do
quickly" (John 13:26-27). The nephilim spirit does not need to be
with someone all the time. But it is at the time of weakness that the
nephilim spirit, who is Satan himself, can enter a man and cause him to
do things he regrets later. When Satan left Judas, he realized what he
had done and killed himself. We must realize that same spirit is among
us today and not allow any openness that would present any opportunity
The Story of the Nephilim,
Stevens, John Robert: This Week, Volume XII (1981). North Hollywood, CA.
: Living Word Publications, 2007, P. 997
Will There Ever Be World Peace?
With man in his current spiritual, mental,
emotional and physical condition, there can be no chance of world peace
on this earth. But in the long term, with the coming of the Kingdom of
God, peace is guaranteed.
You would think that 6,000 years of recorded
human history would have proved there can be no lasting peace on earth
as it exists today. It is arguable whether or not, throughout the
centuries, the world has ever been at peace. All known societies have
engaged in war, both offensive and defensive at one time or another.
Irrespective of societal advances in science, the arts, philosophy,
medicine or government none has brought any lasting peace. Today we have
the greatest explosion of intellectuality the world has ever seen but at
any given time there are violent struggles taking place among
purportedly civilized nations. The names change but the causes and
effects remain the same - racial genocide on a larger scale than ever,
moral and religious conflicts, nationalism, greed, conflicts over money,
goods and lands, jealousy, hatred, wars over freedom and liberty and
wars with no real definable cause. You can boil it all down to the fact
that war is an expression of the base nature of mankind. Man tries to
violently force his will on other men. Its banality increases to the
point that neighbor fights neighbor and brother wars against brother.
Such travesty only increases, never abates.
The only way conflict can end is that the
nature of man change. This can only occur through God. History is rife
with examples of the basic nature of man rising up to exalt himself, his
ego, his country to the point where that perceived good or evil is
forced on other peoples. The same is true of religion as well. Man is
never satisfied with the status quo, but constantly lusts for more
power, influence, control, ideology, religion and other extremism at any
Albert Einstein had this to say about wars and
peace. Einstein came to the following conclusion in his examination of
the world "The World As I See It". He says: "Everyone acts not
only under external compulsion but also [as man perceives it] in
accordance with inner necessity" (page 12,bracketed portion added.)
Also, of wealth, which is a most primary human motivator for war,
Einstein says: "I am absolutely convinced that no wealth in the world
can help humanity forward, even in the hands of the most devoted worker
in this cause". Again the inevitable application of basic human
desires against his fellow man is expressed. And as for legislating
morality, which has never proved to be successful, the great
mathematician notes: "For nothing is more destructive of respect for
the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be
enforced" (for example the fiction of international law or any moral
law for that matter).
These observations are in complete accordance
with the 10 moral laws or Commandments allegedly given humankind by God:
"Thou shall not kill, steal, bear false witness, Honor your Father
and Mother (see the current breakdown of the family unit), commit
adultery (wars have been fought over beautiful women), envy thy neighbor
so as to covet his wife or property, have idols (we have rampant
Einstein sums it up: "...everyone has
certain ideals which determine the directions of his endeavors and
judgments...the ordinary objects of human endeavor-property, outward
success and luxury-are contemptible to me" (page 12). "Everyone
who engages in war does so to enforce his own ideas and need for
personal gain and power on others. In other words, basic human drives,
which so far have not been eradicated, influence man's endeavors greatly
including the waging of war. Acting as individuals, men's diverse ideals
lead to wars of the diverse ideologies, but which all stem from the
independence and perceived individuality of human nature. To obtain
peace, the human nature must be changed or at least controlled, to
corral its destructive tenancies".
The first case that springs to mind is the
Russian revolution. The benefits of pure communism, i.e. everyone at
peace and taken care of, owning everything in common, with virtually no
government, is the society envisioned by pure communism. However, after
a bloody revolution for this seemingly just cause, up rises a dictator
of evil (Stalin) who used the ideology as a cover for the exaltation of
himself and a wielding of power not seen before. In Germany arises a
zealot using Germany's weakened condition (after WW 1) to unite the
country behind inhuman aspirations and constant war and genocide against
other innocent nations and persons.
There have been myriads of conquerors since
Cain slew Abel over jealousy and hate. Mesopotamia is an apt example.
Babylon, Assyria, Canaan, Babylon again, the Persians, Macedonia,
Greece, the Romans, the tribes of Gaul and, the Arabians all gained
domination of this important part of the world within a 2000 year period
through war. England and France, egos dominating, greedy, power hungry
aristocrats were constantly at each other's throats during the middle
Ages. Mohammad, Father of modern day Islam, was a religious and warlike
leader who conquered in order to force his religious/secular beliefs on
other people (just like radical Islam today). The middle age crusades,
Muslim v Christian, were the supreme example of an ideological religious
war. The Native American Indians were always at odds, tribe v tribe,
until the greed of the Americans nearly wiped out the entire spices.
Can human nature really be changed let alone
controlled? Can a leopard change his spots? We have self-improvement
programs that attempt to train human minds but do those affect real
change beyond training our behavior? Power of positive thinking is
another attempt to control human minds but they teach how to get what we
want and most often the toes you have to step on to get it. Has the
Aquarian Age with its explosion of knowledge and science helped man in
the long run? It has actually pulled man further away from God, the
source of all real change. It has given us a million more things to
focus on other than Him.
The change must be inner. No amount of
attempts at peace by organizations, grass root movements, government
organizations, leagues of nations (UN), protests, marches, petitions or
pleas have really caused any change in the real problem, the basic
animal nature of humankind, as Einstein noted.
The Bible, the Word of God the Creator,
addresses these issues of real change. 1 Epistle of Paul to the
Corinthians, Chapter 7 verse 18 says: "For I know that nothing good
dwells in me...for the willing is present in me but the doing of good is
not". And: "...evil is present within me, the one who wants to do
good" (verse 21). "Wretched man that I am who will set me free
from this body of death?" (verse 24). This man was perhaps the
greatest man of God who was born of women, and considered to be holy,
but he was aware of the evil nature within him which is the same as in
every other human.
"Mercy [must] triumph over judgment"
(Book of James Ch. 2, v.13). The Bible says (paraphrased): Put off the
old nature which is corrupted and put on the new nature which can be
renewed in the spirit of your mind (Ephesians 4:22-23). In war and
politics mercy has no place over revenge and self seeking.
What can be the result of this real change?
"For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former things
will not be remembered or come to mind... And there will no longer be
heard in her The voice of weeping and the sound of crying. "No
longer will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, Or an old
man who does not live out his days; For the youth will die at the age of
one hundred And the one who does not reach the age of one hundred Will
be thought accursed. And My chosen ones will wear out the work of their
hands. "They will not labor in vain, Or bear children for calamity; For
they are the offspring of those blessed by the LORD, And their
descendants with them. It will also come to pass that before they call,
I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear. "The wolf
and the lamb will graze together, and the lion will eat straw like the
ox; and dust will be the serpent's food. They will do no evil or harm in
all My holy mountain," says the LORD" (ISAIAH 65:17-25).
"And and they will hammer their swords into
plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up
sword against nation, And never again will they learn war" (Isaiah
John the author of the Book of Revelation also
foresees this drastic change that will occur at the end of this age of
humanity. He states: "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the
first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any
sea. And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven
from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a
loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is
among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people,
and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear
from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no
longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed
away." And He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all
things new." And He said, "Write, for these words are faithful and
true." (Rev. 21:1-5).
"And he carried me away in the Spirit to a
great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming
down out of heaven from God", (Revelation 21:10). "And the city
has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of
God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by
its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. In
the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be
closed; and they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into
it; and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying,
shall ever come into it" (Revelation 21:23-27).
Many dismiss these words as fable, myth or
wishful thinking. However, no other spiritual belief (religion)
describes this new age in such detail. It addresses all of the current
problems that dominate modern day society-famine, war, health and
sickness, futility and all the other ills of mankind. Rather than
advocate a change of mankind's behavior or a political or economic
policy change, it advocates a starting over, as it were. The end of one
and the beginning of another. This is the only way world peace, as man
calls it, will ever be realized. And this change is and can be real here
and now, not off in some heaven somewhere. Jesus says in His so called
"Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on
earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10). If you can think of a
better, more comprehensive solution to all of mankind's problems please
let your government know. The problem is that there are no real
solutions and never will be as long as man remains as God on the earth.
Death Is a Lie
When I face the lie we call death,
I turn to the Lord, He knows best.
It is in His word that I find,
The answers to where I've been blind.
I find it is the last enemy,
And it says it's not my destiny,
Christ is the way to eternal life,
The end of death and all strife.
Death is the wages of sin,
It's the one way satan can win.
For to die is to separate,
From God, for the father of lies to celebrate.
Death's been around since Adam and Eve,
It's this over which we should grieve,
Without what we call the original sin,
There is no death, never has been.
Have you read in Revelation?
Where it says there is salvation,
Death is the last to be overcome,
To be thrown in satan's pond of scum.
When I face death I say begone,
Go your way to eternal incarceration,
We are the ones with resurrection life,
You will suffer in hell, eternal strife.
Christ conquered death by the crucifixion
Through much suffering and affliction,
That we may have the gift of His life,
Eternal here, now, not in the after-life.
Inevitable death is but a lie,
Something not real we need to defy,
Fear of death is bondage to us,
In its shadow we but digress.
Perfect love casts out fear,
That "God is love" is very clear,
Draw Him near and He will show,
That upon His Sons life He will bestow.
"The last enemy that will be abolished is death."
(1 Corinthians 15:26)
The Role of Faith In Politics
The so called "Christian Right" today feels a
necessity to advance moral values by becoming involved in politics,
candidates, parties etc. They use their own moral values as centerpieces
for forming a religious government. Issues such as abortion, genetics,
adherence to religious doctrines and laws, sexual practices and the like
are at the forefront of their assault. Many religious leaders have come
together and decided what the acceptable moral values are. Because they
can all agree on some of these values they form significant voter block.
This forces political parties to adopt these values in order to capture
their vote. They ignore an age old historical fact that you "cannot
successfully legislate morality". Righteousness (incorrectly called
morality by some) comes from the heart.
The combination of the Roman Emperors and the
Roman Catholic Church in the middle ages proved that forcing a brand of
morality on the people didn't work. The centuries long combination of
government and religion produced more corruption than the world has ever
seen. Such domination would not have come about if the government was of
the type that separated church and state government. Countless people
were murdered in the inquisitions wherein the governments acquiesced in
the religious enforcing of legal codes. Influential Popes commanded the
governments. Popes and government leaders alike profited from each
other's vast wealth, at the expense of the people. The Church even sold
indulgences, guarantees of heaven, to fearful people at great price. In
short only the Popes and rulers benefited. The "Christian right" seeks
more or less the same influence and, with the love of money at the root
of many religions today, can only have disastrous results for all of us.
A real Christian's reaction to government is
clearly laid out in the Bible. First of all, morality does not come from
the human conscience as religious leaders would have you believe. The
human conscience is not a reliable indicator of what is right, wrong or
righteous. The writer of Hebrews states: "how much more will the
blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without
blemish to God, cleanse our conscience from dead works to serve the
living God?" (Hebrews 9:14). And: "not laying again a foundation
of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God" (Hebrews
6:1). What are dead works? They are what we call moral values. They are
works designed to please God. They are works that agree with our human
consciences as to what should be done to be righteous and thereby die
and go to heaven. These often require the exercise of strict adherence
to a code of laws and regulations, which differ from religion to
These moral values get us nowhere with God. By
seating ourselves on the throne and exalting ourselves as arbiters of
all that is righteous, we wrongly assume God has the same values up as
we do. God says: "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor your
ways My ways,. For high as the heavens been above the earth, so high
have been My ways above your ways, And My thoughts above your thoughts"
(Isaiah 55:8). Yet our arrogance assumes the opposite. Our religions
should be teaching us to ask God, rather than rely on our human
consciences. Dead works are works originated from the fallen flesh of
man imposed many times by religion. These ideas about what is not
righteous are not born from a revelation from God. They are born from
human ideas of what God wants. In almost every instance they do not
represent the views of God at all.
Jesus Christ the Messiah cam to do away with
the do and don'ts of the Mosaic Law. He did not come to do away with the
law. He came to fulfill it. He came to write the laws on our hearts,
through appropriation of His nature (Hebrews 8:10-11).Rather than trying
to impose our religious societal values we should be pointing people to
Christ in whom there is no sin. Seated at the right hand of the Father
as He is, he can change our very natures so that sin no longer becomes
an obstacle to us.
Religion attempts to influence legislation
forcing the governments to adhere to their moral values by political
influence. However, our struggle is not with the physical nations,
pressing them to pass religiously inspired legislation. Consider what
Paul had to say on the subject:
"For our struggle is not against flesh and
blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world
forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in
the heavenly places" (Ephesians 6:12). Governments are no more than
expressions on earth of the evil side of the spiritual realm (Satan and
his cohorts). We do not defeat them by enforcing a code of ethics on
people who cannot fulfill them anyway; it's by judging the spirit
motivating the nations and people. God's view of the nations is: "
the nations are as nothing before Him, They are regarded by Him as less
than nothing and meaningless" (Isaiah 40:17). Should we not have
that same attitude, rather than trying to morally change a world that is
under futility? (Romans 8:20). You cannot please God by trying to refine
the flesh nature. No amount of good works or "right" moral decisions
will accomplish anything. God considers any works originating from man
as "filthy rags". Isaiah 64:6 says: "For all of us have become like
one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy
garment". Therefore no matter how hard we try we can never please
Him with our human works. He despises them.
The Apostle Paul gives us guidelines on how
those of us who are "in the world but not of it" (John 17:15) are
to relate to worldly authority. "First of all, then, I urge that
entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf
of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, in order that we may
lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity" (1 Tim
The answer is simple. We pray for the leaders
and the nations. We pray that God's will, and not our own conceptions of
His will, be done. We pray for the Kingdom of God to come on the earth;
a Kingdom that we have not seen and is beyond our imagination. Pray that
His Kingdom come when Christ will rule with a rod of iron; pray that the
United States (or whatever nation) which is a sheep nation will turn
from its corruption and once again serve God. God has a solution for all
problems, nations or otherwise. Seek His intervention. Don't tell Him
what to do, but pray for His will. "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be
done on earth as it is in Heaven" (Matthew 6:10). Entreat and
petition God to change the hearts of those in authority so that they may
serve the Lord. God wills that no man perish but that all come to the
knowledge of the truth. We who believe are enforcers of His Will, not
The Kingdom of God Has Come Near
Jesus told the 70 disciples, when He sent them
out 2 x 2 the following: "Whatever city you enter and they receive
you, eat what is set before you; and heal those in it who are sick, and
say to them, 'The kingdom of God has come near to you.' "But whatever
city you enter and they do not receive you, go out into its streets and
say, 'Even the dust of your city which clings to our feet we wipe off in
protest against you; yet be sure of this, that the kingdom of God has
come near.' "I say to you, it will be more tolerable in that day for
Sodom than for that city" (Luke 10:8-12).
Jesus Christ was a manifestation of the
Kingdom on the earth. He was one with the Father (John 17); He did only
those things the Father told Him to do (John 5:19); He was the perfect
combination of God and man-Christ is both God and man. Human attributes
and actions are predicated of him, and he of whom they are predicated is
God. A Divine Person was united to a human nature (Acts 20:28; Rom.
8:32; 1 Cor. 2:8; Heb. 2:11–14; 1 Tim. 3:16; Gal. 4:4, etc.); He was the
father incarnate "He who has seen Me has seen the Father" (John
14:9); He performed signs and wonders as a witness of who He was.
"Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise
believe because of the works themselves" (John 14:11).
"Now the main point in what has been said
is this: we have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right
hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a minister in the
sanctuary and in the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man"
"For Christ did not enter a holy place made
with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to
appear in the presence of God for us; nor was it that He would offer
Himself often, [as the Old Testament] high priest enters the holy
place year by year with blood that is not his own. Otherwise, He would
have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now
once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away
sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And inasmuch as it is appointed for men
to die once and after this comes judgment, so Christ also, having been
offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for
salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him"
"And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for
after saying, "THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THEM AFTER
THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD: I WILL PUT MY LAWS UPON THEIR HEART, AND ON
THEIR MIND I WILL WRITE THEM," He then says, "AND THEIR SINS AND THEIR
LAWLESS DEEDS I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE." Now where there is forgiveness
of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin" (Hebrews
10-15-18). Christ came with a New Covenant, better than the Old
Covenant, where righteousness was determined by sacrifice and obedience.
Christ promises to change our nature (write His laws on our hearts and
minds) so that it no longer remains possible to sin.
Christ also said, "The Kingdom of God is
among you." Many will scoff, "You say the Kingdom of God is among
you? I don't see it!" But Jesus said, "The Kingdom of God does not
come with observation. None shall say, 'Lo, here!' or, 'Lo, there!' The
Kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:20–21, KJV). The Kingdom of
God was in Jesus and can be is us.
Jesus, in His first public ministry, said
basically the same thing: "And the book of the prophet Isaiah was
handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was
written, [in Isaiah 61:61] [speaking of Himself Jesus said] "THE
SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE
GOSPEL TO THE POOR. HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES,
AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED,
TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD." And He closed the book,
gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the
synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, "Today this
Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing." And all were speaking
well of Him, and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from
His lips; and they were saying, "Is this not Joseph's son?" And He
[Jesus] said to them, "No doubt you will quote this proverb to Me,
'Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we heard was done at Capernaum, do
here in your hometown as well.' " And He said, "Truly I say to you, no
prophet is welcome in his hometown. "But I say to you in truth, there
were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the sky was shut
up for three years and six months, when a great famine came over all the
land; and yet Elijah was sent to none of them, but only to Zarephath, in
the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. "And there were many
lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was
cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian." And all the people in the
synagogue were filled with rage as they heard these things; and they got
up and drove Him out of the city, and led Him to the brow of the hill on
which their city had been built, in order to throw Him down the cliff"
(Luke 4:17-29). In this case the Kingdom had come a little too close to
them as Jesus so much as proclaimed Himself the Messiah, predicting He
would not be accepted in His hometown. This enraged the people who knew
Jesus after the flesh.
John the Baptist used substantially the same
phrase as he was announcing the Kingdom: "Now in those days John the
Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, "Repent, for
the kingdom of heaven is at hand." [or "has come near"] "For this
is the ONE referred to by Isaiah the prophet when he said, [in
Isaiah 40:3] "THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, 'MAKE READY
THE WAY OF THE LORD, MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT!' " (Matthew 3:1-3).
They did not refer to the Kingdom as a thing but as a person. The
Kingdom is a person, a person with the power to duplicate Himself in all
who were open.
It is much the same as Jesus proclamation: "Jesus
said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to
the Father but through Me" (John 14:6). Jesus was identified as the
Way to a new relationship with God (John 14:4-6), which began a new
quality of life, a new way of living (cf. Heb. 10:20). One of the
earliest designations for the emerging Christian community appears to
have been that of followers of 'the Way' (Acts 9:2; 19:9, 23; 24:22; cf.
Many seek for truth as a quality separate from
Christ. Truth is a person, Jesus Christ. Christ reveals God and thus
reveals truth (John 8:26, 40; 18:37). Since Christ shares in God's
truth, he is himself full of grace and truth (John 1:14, 17). Indeed, he
is 'the way, and the truth, and the life' (John 14:6); he is the
true light and the true vine (John 1:9; 15:1). Christ sends the
Counselor, the Spirit of truth (John 15:26). Thus, the OT understanding
of God as truth extends to Christ and the Holy Spirit. The believer is
guided into truth (John 16:13), to worship God in spirit and truth (John
4:23-24). Doing Christ's word enables one to know the truth and so be
free (John 8:32). This Christian freedom is not due to possession of
correct knowledge but rather comes from relationship to that which is
truly real, namely, God (Achtemeier, Paul J. ; Harper & Row, Publishers
; Society of Biblical Literature: Harper's Bible Dictionary. 1st
ed. San Francisco : Harper & Row, 1985, S. 1100).
Jesus is 'the bread of life,' 'the light of
life,' 'the resurrection and the life,' 'the way, and the truth, and the
life' (John 6:48; 8:12; 11:25; 14:6). The one believing in Jesus
receives eternal life both in the present ('you have passed from
death to life,') John 5:24) and in the future ('I will raise him
up at the last day,' (John 6:40).
We must get past the idea that the Kingdom of
God is something apart from us, although its manifestation may include
things around us. The Kingdom of God is a person, Jesus Christ. He is
all truth and life. As John said: "In the beginning was the Word, and
the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He [Christ] was in
the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and
apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him
was life, and the life was the Light of men" (John 1:1-4). Christ is
over all, in all and through all.
© Kenneth B. Alexander, Northridge, CA
Copyright © 2000-2023 All Rights Reserved.
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